FAQ Directory: HEDIS

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2.16.2023 Diabetes Measures* Should patients who have not been diagnosed with diabetes but take diabetes medications for off-label use (e.g., weight loss, heart failure) be excluded from the diabetes measures?

For measures with hybrid reporting methodology (HBD, BPD, EED), members who have not had a diagnosis of diabetes but receive diabetes medications for conditions other than diabetes (e.g., weight loss, heart failure) may be identified as valid data errors and replaced with a member from the oversample.
To meet criteria for a valid data error for these measures, the medical record must contain no evidence of diabetes and must contain evidence to substantiate the data error (how the member wound up in the measure, why it is incorrect). It is expected that the medical record will not contain evidence of diabetes, and will contain documentation that the patient is on the medication, and why. This documentation, in combination with no other documentation of diabetes in the medical record, meets criteria for a valid data error. Valid data errors are subject to review by the auditor.
Valid data errors work for the Hybrid Method only because medical record data are used to ensure that the member does not have diabetes. For the administrative method, these members remain in the measure as medical records are considered supplemental data that may not be used for identifying valid data errors, or when reporting the HBD, BPD and EED measures using the administrative method, or the KED, SMD, EDH and SPD measures, which are administrative-only measures.
We are working to refine the diabetes denominator related to off-label medication use. The next annual HEDIS public comment period is planned for February–March 2023, but organizations may submit comments on any measure, at any time, through PCS (you do not need to wait until February).

*This FAQ applies to the following measures: Hemoglobin A1c Control for Patients With Diabetes (HBD), Blood Pressure Control for Patients With Diabetes (BPD), Eye Exam for Patients With Diabetes (EED), Kidney Health Evaluation for Patients With Diabetes (KED), Statin Therapy for Patients With Diabetes (SPD), Diabetes Monitoring for People With Diabetes and Schizophrenia (SMD), and Emergency Department Visits for Hypoglycemia in Older Adults With Diabetes (EDH)


12.15.2022 Auditing Data Collected Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) Is a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) acceptable for primary source verification when auditing data collected by NLP?

No. Data collected using NLP needs to be audited back to the legal health record. CCDs are not considered the legal health record or proof of service, and are not a replacement for an electronic health record.  


12.15.2022 Sampling Guidelines—Multiple Measures using a common sample If members are deceased are they removed from all measures that use the same sample?

Yes. If multiple measures use the same sample, a deceased member is removed from all related samples. For example, deceased members who are removed from the Childhood Immunization (CIS) sample would also be removed from the Lead Screening (LSC) sample. Similarly, deceased members who are removed from the Hemoglobin A1c Control for Patients With Diabetes (HBD) sample would also be removed from Blood Pressure Control for Patients With Diabetes (BPD) and Eye Exam for Patients With Diabetes (EED) samples. This FAQ was previously posted in November 2022 and was updated to remove the reference to the KED measure.


12.15.2022 Advance Care Planning (ACP) When using supplemental data, does an advance care plan executed before the measurement year meet criteria?

No. The measure requires evidence of an advance care plan during the measurement year, dated during the measurement year. If the advance care plan is scanned into the EMR and dated in the measurement year, it meets criteria. If the plan is found in the EMR or member record from a prior year, it does not meet criteria unless there is dated evidence that it was reviewed or discussed during the measurement year.


12.15.2022 Transitions of Care (TRC) When using the fifth bullet to meet criteria for Medication Reconciliation Post-Discharge, if documentation indicates that the medication reconciliation was performed during a post-op/surgery follow-up visit by the surgeon who performed the surgery or the provider who admitted the member, or if the surgery is for a procedure that is typically performed inpatient, does this count as evidence that the provider was aware of the hospitalization at the time of the visit?

No. Medication reconciliations performed during a post-op/surgery follow-up visit alone do not meet criteria even if the visit was performed by the provider who admitted the member or who performed the surgery, or if the procedure is typically performed inpatient. The intent is that medical record documentation must support awareness of the hospitalization (denominator event) at the time of the medication reconciliation, even if the provider admitted the member or saw the member during the hospitalization, or if the procedure is typically performed inpatient. 


11.15.2022 Depression Screening and Follow-Up for Adolescents and Adults (DSF-E) and Unhealthy Alcohol Use Screening and Follow-Up (ASF-E) In the data elements reporting tables for Depression Screening and Follow-Up for Adolescents and Adults (DSF-E) and Unhealthy Alcohol Use Screening and Follow-Up (ASF-E), the reporting instructions for the initial population and exclusions data elements state, “For each Metric and Stratification.” However, these measures have the same initial population and exclusions reported for each metric. Should the reporting instructions state “For each stratification, repeat per metric”?

Yes. The reporting instructions for the initial population and exclusions data elements for ASF-E and DSF-E for MY 2022 and MY 2023 are incorrect. The reporting instructions should state, “For each stratification, repeat per metric” for the initial population and exclusions data elements. Refer to the PDF  for the corrected data elements tables.
Note: The information is correct in IDSS (the validations check "For each stratification, repeat per metric” for the initial population and exclusions data elements).


**This FAQ applies to both HEDIS Volume 2 MY 2022 and HEDIS Volume 2 MY 2023


11.15.2022 Lead Screening in Children (LSC) In the MY 2022 specifications for Lead Screening in Children (LSC), there are data elements for ExclusionAdminOptional and ExclusionMedRecsOptional. This measure does not have optional exclusions. Are these data elements in error?

Yes. The data elements for “ExclusionAdminOptional” and “ExclusionMedRecsOptional” are not reported for MY 2022. These data elements and reporting instructions should be removed from Table LSC-1: Data Elements for Lead Screening in Children.


10.14.2022 Statin Therapy for Patients With Cardiovascular Disease (SPC) and Statin Therapy for Patients With Diabetes (SPD) Should we exclude members with a history of allergies or intolerance to statins (including to the PCSK-9 inhibitor) from the SPC and SPD measures?

The Statin Therapy for Patients With Cardiovascular Disease (SPC) and Statin Therapy for Patients With Diabetes (SPD) measures include an exclusion for members with myalgia, myositis, myopathy or rhabdomyolysis during the measurement year. However, an allergy or history of an intolerance to a statin medication is not considered an exclusion for the measure.  
The general guidance NCQA received from our experts, as well as guidance from the American College of Cardiology , is that patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease should be rechallenged on lower statin doses and alternative statins before being put on non-statin therapies (e.g., PCSK-9 inhibitors) due to statin intolerance. The decision-making process might vary from case to case. Although we incorporated exclusions for muscle-related statin side effects, we acknowledge that the measure may not address all instances of true statin intolerance. We will consider all feedback on this issue, while also ensuring that changes to the measure are valid, scientifically sound and true to the measure's intent (to measure the quality of cardiovascular care provided at the population level).


10.14.2022 General Guideline 16: Deceased Members The deceased member exclusion is now required for MY 2023. The last bullet in the Notes section states, “This is a member-level exclusion. For episode-based measures, if one event does not meet numerator criteria, remove all member events/episodes from the measure.”
Does this mean that for episode-based measures that if one event meets numerator criteria the member can remain in the measure?

No. Members who die during the measurement year must be removed from all applicable measures. For episode-based measures, a member who died during the measurement year must be removed for all events (even if they meet numerator criteria for an event).


9.15.2022 Difference Between HPR and Quality Compass How are HPR and Quality Compass different?

Quality Compass is NCQA’s interactive database containing individual plan performance results for HEDIS® and CAHPS® measures, as well as benchmark data at the national, regional (Census, HHS) and state levels. It reports individual plan data from plans that chose to publicly report their performance results. Benchmark results comprise all plan data submitted to NCQA, regardless of reporting status.
NCQA Health Plan Ratings (HPR) is a separate method of evaluating and distributing information related to health plan quality and performance. It assesses and reports plan performance in several domains. The goal of HPR is to give plans a scale to assess their current operating status, to help ensure quality. HPR provides consumers with information that helps them select a high-quality health plan that suits their needs.
NCQA’s Health Plan Ratings 2022 assesses commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid health plans. The overall rating is the weighted average of a plan’s HEDIS® and CAHPS® measure ratings, plus bonus points for plans with a current Accreditation status. Please visit our HPR website (https://www.ncqa.org/hedis/reports-and-research/ncqas-health-plan-ratings-2022/) to learn more.


9.15.2022 Differences Between Quality Compass Data and State of Healthcare What are the differences between the State of Healthcare (SOHC) report and the data included in Quality Compass?

The State of Healthcare Report includes data that is publicly available on the NCQA site. It contains national averages based on the prior measurement year and is updated once a year. The State of Healthcare Quality Report classifies health plans differently than NCQA’s Quality Compass. HMO corresponds to All LOBs (excluding PPO and EPO) within Quality Compass. PPO corresponds to PPO and EPO within Quality Compass.
To get access to the most recent data as well as additional data points such as plan level performance and percentiles check out Quality Compass. at this link:


If you would like to discuss Quality Compass further, please reach out to our Information products team by submitting a case through your my.NCQA.org account.


9.15.2022 Quality Compass HEDIS Benchmark Percentiles: Payers and Patient Ages Do the Quality Compass products have the HEDIS benchmark percentiles across all payers and patient ages?

Only the measures whose results were eligible for public reporting are included in Quality Compass. Additionally, certain HEDIS measures are specific to certain product lines and do not have data across all product lines. Specific age and gender stratifications are only applicable to specific measures.