Global Cardiovascular Risk Score Measure (GCVR) Clears Hurdle #1

NCQA’s new, game-changing cardiovascular risk measure passed its first round of testing with flying colors last month with researchers reporting no significant hitches in terms of data collection.  The Global Cardiovascular Risk (GCVR) measure is the first of a new generation of true “outcomes” measures that rely on data collected through electronic health records.

Testing of the measure began last August with a cohort of nearly a dozen cardiologists, internists and family practice physicians.  To satisfy the demands of the GCVR measure, researchers had to mine EHRs for between 50 and 60 data elements per patient. This included difficult-to-access elements related to medications.  Even so, researchers generated more than 250,000 usable patient data profiles, far beyond the 20,000 needed to validate a typical measure.

NCQA’s Director of Performance Measurement, Ben Hamlin, who headed this first trial of the GCVR measure, is now looking forward to phase II testing and not just because the measure has been validated operationally. “There was a lot of enthusiasm for the measure,” said Hamlin.  “Physicians understand that measuring outcomes – instead of whether their patients hit a particular biometric target — gives them a lot more flexibility to treat their patients in the best, most efficient way possible.”

The flexibility of the GCVR measure is no small thing.  Unlike traditional performance measures that require providers to aim for a particular biometric target (e.g., “Did all your patients control their blood pressure below 140/80?), the GCVR measure asks an ultimately much more clinically meaningful question, “Did you lower your patients’ future risk of an adverse cardiac event?”

As always, NCQA is looking for feedback on the draft measure and volunteers for future rounds of testing. Interested parties should contact Ben Hamlin directly at

One thought on “Global Cardiovascular Risk Score Measure (GCVR) Clears Hurdle #1

  1. Subject: NCQA Global Cardiovascular Risk Score

    Dear Sir:

    The following link addresses SETMA’S use of the Framingham Risk Scores. We know of their limitations but our “What If” scenario has been helpful with our patients:

    See also:

    The following link is to SETMA’s NCQA recognitions for PC-MH, Diabetes and Heart/Stroke:.

    We are interested in your testing of NCQA’s new Global cardiovascular Risk Score:

    Is there an opportunity for us to participate?


    James (Larry) Holly, M.D.
    C.E.O. SETMA

    409 504-4517

    Adjunct Professor
    Family & Community Medicine
    University of Texas Health Science Center
    San Antonio School of Medicine

    Clinical Associate Professor
    Department of Internal Medicine
    School of Medicine
    Texas A&M Health Science Center

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