One week to go before the Google Hangout to better inform you about HEDIS® updates we released a week ago. We’ll also take the opportunity to talk about expected changes for Health Plan Accreditation standards updates due out at the end of the month. I’m excited, and perhaps a little nervous. It’s my first time hosting a Hangout. We also have a message to convey.
NCQA decided we should talk directly to stakeholders about these updates in a webinar or Hangout. We need our measures experts and our plan experts to provide some background for how we got here.
HEDIS Updates: We Are Listening
Why? Well, you may have noticed, there are a few more updates this year than in the average year. NCQA thinks you deserved an explanation. Especially, when we know the health plan industry has sought to enhance, or “right size”, measures by retiring some and making others easier to collect and report. We wanted you to know, we’ve heard your concerns and we’re working on a strategy to address them. It has proven to be no small task when, of course, circumstance dictates new measures or changes to others.
For instance, the new opioid measure. We’ve reached a crisis level in terms of opioid abuse in this country. So, every corner of the health care industry must do its part to curb this epidemic. Our “corner” is measurement. It won’t solve the opioid crisis. It will, we believe, contribute to curbing it.
That’s just one example. You may have noticed in every communication about these changes—email, blogs, newsletters—we’ve tried to tell you the intent behind each change. That’s because we are aware of the impact these changes have on our stakeholders. We want to tell you why they are necessary. It’s a balance between benefit to patients and burden to the folks who measure.
HEDIS Hangout: Provides Answers
We’ll further explore our intentions during the Hangout. We hope you’ll agree, our committees made some difficult, but necessary decisions.
Which brings me to something I wrote about our performance measurement team when I first started at NCQA. “Our Performance Measurement team creates new measures where needed, improves measures when appropriate and eliminates measures when new facts demand it.” It’s a solid foundation. Just needs a little more explanation this year.
I look forward to talking with our measurement and health plan experts about it next Wednesday. I look forward to seeing you then too.