Doubling Down on HEDIS:
2 Years of Specs Released in
1 Day

Measures Released are for Measurement Years 2020, 2021

The July 1 annual release of the latest HEDIS Volume 2 measure specifications is unusual this year:
The measures we published Wednesday apply to two years—2020 and 2021.

The publications are available electronically or in hardcopy.

To understand why we released two years of measure specs, it’s important to understand:

  • The traditional schedule for publishing HEDIS measures.
  • A new schedule that’s coming in 2021.

Our traditional schedule has been to release HEDIS measure specs 6 months into the year in which the specs are to be used. That means the measurement year is half over before health plans know what they’re expected to report.

We’re on our way to a better schedule.

HEDIS: The New Calendar

Thirteen months from now, on August 1, 2021, we will release measures that apply to services in 2022.

Our transition to that new schedule started July 1, 2020, when we released HEDIS measures for 2020 and 2021

The table below shows details of this schedule change. This display is the most popular slide in our Future of HEDIS webinar series—the slide that viewers always ask to see again.

(Note that the table confirms HEDIS submission deadlines are not changing. Reporting HEDIS results will still happen in June of the year after the measurement year, same as it always has.)

Why does this move to a new publication schedule in 2021 matter?

The new schedule means plans will have certainty about measure specs, sooner—11 months sooner than before.

Here’s the math behind that 11-month improvement:

  6-month lag time eliminated
+5 months lead time
  11 months gained.

And here’s how another popular graphic from our Future of HEDIS webinar series depicts the schedule change:

We know many people inside and outside NCQA will be happy to have measures in their hands sooner each year.

The July 1, 2020, release of two years’ of HEDIS specs is a big step toward that better schedule.

We will explain other notable features of HEDIS 2020 and HEDIS 2021 on this blog soon. The “2 years in 1 day” aspect of today’s HEDIS release—and the larger schedule change that double-release facilitates—is the main thing to know.