NCQA is Measuring Health Care-Associated Infections

Assessing Risks For Patients Admitted to Hospitals

August 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC—Each year, 1 in 25 hospitalized patients becomes sick with a preventable infection, and as many as 75,000 patients die from one. To draw attention to this pressing concern and encourage broader health plan commitment to improving patient safety, NCQA has added a quality measure to its 2017 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®): Standardized Healthcare-Association Infection (HAI) Ratio.

Although the majority of HEDIS measures address outpatient quality, HAI assesses the risk of infection for patients admitted to network hospitals. NCQA is using a new measurement approach: matching health plan member admission data with data that are gathered from acute care facilities across the nation and are available through CMS Hospital Compare.

“NCQA is committed to driving quality improvement across the health care system, and the opportunity to use publicly reported hospital data to address accountability at the plan level excites us,” says Mary Barton, Vice President for Performance Measurement at NCQA.

NCQA will collect data on four common HAIs: central line-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile intestinal infections.

For more information, refer to the full measure specifications in HEDIS 2017, Volume 2. HEDIS publications are available in print and electronically. To order, call 888-275-7585 or visit NCQA’s Publications Web page at

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