New recommendations on breast- and cervical-cancer screenings, immunizations and screening for potential drug interactions in Medicare patients are among the revisions the National Committee for Quality Assurance is proposing for its widely used measures.
The NCQA will be taking comments on the proposed additions, revisions and changes to its Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, or HEDIS, measures until March 21. The measures are used in the National Business Coalition on Health's eValue8 program, the CMS' Medicare Advantage star ratings program and other health-plan evaluating programs. (The NCQA recently offered comments of its own (PDF)
on proposed changes to the star ratings.)
“These are measures of clinical quality and patient experience that are supported by the best available scientific evidence on what works in healthcare,” an NCQA news release stated
. “NCQA creates new HEDIS measures and updates existing measures when new evidence becomes available in the scientific literature.”
It's noted in the release that public feedback is an important part of the revision process
, with every comment reviewed and that comments help ensure that final measures meet criteria for relevance and feasibility.
Some of the revisions appear similar to those being proposed as part of the American Board of Internal Medicine's Choosing Wisely
campaign. But an NCQA spokesman said there is no deliberate overlap between the two programs and any similarity is coincidental.
“We have, since the initial release of Choosing Wisely lists in 2012, started reviewing the Choosing Wisely recommendations to determine which may be appropriate candidates for measure development,” said Andy Reynolds, NCQA spokesman. “We applaud the work of the ABIM Foundation and the specialty societies for raising awareness of this important issue within the clinical community and with consumers and policymakers.”