Magellan’s collection of HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) quality measures for 2017 has entered the final phase of data collection. You’ve probably heard of the acronym HEDIS – but what does it stand for and what does it mean to you? The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set – HEDIS — was created by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to measure the clinical quality performance of health plans.  This is accomplished through the collection and analysis of data documenting the clinical care received by individual plan members from providers, influenced through activities and programs delivered by the health plans.  The data is aggregated and reported collectively to reflect the ‘collective’ or population-based care received by the plan’s membership.  These reports have become a major component of quality rating systems that measure the clinical quality performance of health plans by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, states offering Medicaid and other entities. Right now, Magellan has entered the final phase of data collection for HEDIS quality measures for 2017.

There are 91 HEDIS 2017 measures, but it’s important to note that the number may vary from year to year as new measures are added to the set and some are retired. The measures cover many aspects of healthcare including preventive care such as screening tests (e.g., mammograms) and immunizations, management of physical and mental health conditions, access and availability of care, patient experience, utilization and relative resource use.  Data is reported individually for each product and line of business

Measure data is collected is a variety of ways.  Claims are the major source of data, but specific measures may also allow plans to survey members or to access member medical records for additional data not captured in claims.  This type of data collection (combined claims and chart data) is called hybrid.  The final phase of data collection for health plans choosing to do hybrid runs from January through May and is often called MRR for medical record retrieval, or simply ‘chart chase.’  Final HEDIS data covering services rendered in 2016 and prior will be submitted to NCQA by June 15, 2017.  Final health plan ratings for all lines of business are published on the NCQA website by October 2017.

For health plans, HEDIS ratings can be very important. The scores on measures can help them understand quality of care being delivered to their members in some of the most common chronic and acute illnesses.  Higher scores can help compete more effectively in various markets. HEDIS score reporting are often required in public markets as well, where the results are often reported to the states, or occasionally counties, in which the plans reside.

Behavioral health and pharmacy are well represented in the HEDIS measure set. Behavioral health has multiple measures that include ensuring continuity of care, appropriate psychotropic medication management/adherence, and initiation and engagement of drug and alcohol abuse treatment.  Pharmacy measures focus on medication management of acute and chronic physical and mental illness, appropriate medications in the elderly, and management of polypharmacy.  Specialty measures are directed toward inappropriate imaging.

So, what is the value of HEDIS to Magellan?  Aside from being a collection and reporting contract requirement for many of our customers and our own health plan, HEDIS gives Magellan valuable information about the populations we serve.

By following the behavioral health data, we collect, for example, we can identify gaps in network performance in patient follow-up patterns, management of drug and alcohol abuse, and prescribing and adherence to medications.  This allows us to design and implement interventions that can improve outcomes and reduce cost of care.

The same type of analysis/intervention applies to physical health conditions.  Analysis of HEDIS data helps identify gaps in care, particularly preventive care, in such important and chronic populations as patients with diabetes mellitus, patients with cardiovascular disease, and patients with lung disease.  We can also identify and address at-risk pediatric populations who fail to complete preventive care such as immunizations, dental and well-child care.

As the healthcare industry moves more and more toward value-based purchasing, all providers, insurers and their vendors are necessarily increasingly focused on the quality of care that is delivered.  The impact of this should be better outcomes for our members.

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