More than 90% of health plans use HEDIS—the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set—to measure their performance in care and services for chronic disease management, screening, prevention and wellness, overuse and appropriateness and other areas. Plans also use HEDIS to help them focus improvement efforts. And because HEDIS is used so widely, consumers (and plans) can compare plan performance across the board.
The HEDIS Value in Health Care
HEDIS gets props as a valuable measurement tool by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well. A recent report (Antibiotic Use in the United States 2017: Progress and Opportunities) cites 2008–2012 data from the HEDIS measure Avoidance of Antibiotic Treatment in Adults With Acute Bronchitis. The CDC found that healthy adults with acute bronchitis were getting unnecessary antibiotic treatment nearly 80% of the time: leading to a potential risk of antibiotic resistance.
The CDC report’s focus is on raising awareness about the need for antibiotic stewardship. Although antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, overuse can result in antibiotic resistance when bacteria do not respond to the drugs that are meant to kill them—a situation that is becoming more common.
According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance is “one of the most serious public health problems in the United States and threatens to return us to the time when simple infections were often fatal.”
HEDIS measure data provide an overview of the current state of antibiotic use in health care settings, including programs and resources to support providers and patients in their efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing and use.
We encourage you to take a look at the report to learn more about antibiotic use in the U.S. and see the HEDIS measurement tool at work.
Cindy is Senior Communications Manager at NCQA. Her focus is building consumer awareness through media and public relations. A communications and public engagement strategist with a background steeped in TV news reporting, Cindy is also part of NCQA’s Creative Services unit developing messaging through visual storytelling.