The National Committee for Quality Assurance has proposed five new measures of health plan performance that assess quality of care and physician advice on common health issues, such as back pain and post-heart attack care.
To make way for the new measures, the NCQA also proposed retiring five measures used since the mid-1990s in its Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set, or HEDIS.
New measures include the persistence of clinicians in providing beta-blocker treatment following a heart attack; use of imaging studies in lower back pain; drug therapy in rheumatoid arthritis; and, for older adults, advice on physical activity, as well as prevalence of screening for glaucoma.
Measures proposed for retirement include several involving maternity and childbirth: rates of Caesarean section and of vaginal birth after Caesarean section, and length of stay for maternity patients and newborns.
The NCQA said no useful definition of good performance exists for the measures it has proposed retiring.