Tracking Immunizations with New Measures to Make a Difference

Measuring health care leads to improvement, and improving health care quality is what NCQA is all about. We assess health care quality with measures that are relevant, scientifically sound and feasible—HEDIS®[1] measures. HEDIS is the standard performance measurement tool for creating benchmarks in all areas of health care, from effectiveness to access and availability of care. The HEDIS measure set includes more than 90 measures for comparing and improving health care.

Recently, NCQA hosted a webinar discussing its two new HEDIS immunization measures:

  • Adult Immunization Status.
  • Prenatal Immunization Status.

WHY IMMUNIZATION?

Immunizations protect people from potentially deadly diseases such as influenza and pneumonia. Most infants and children in this country receive required immunizations, but as people age and might forego regular check-ups, it can be hard to tell if their immunizations are up to date. To address gaps in care, stakeholders such as the federal government and health plans are interested in quality measures to gauge whether adults and pregnant women routinely receive recommended vaccines.

TWO NEW IMMUNIZATION MEASURES

NCQA’s new immunization measures were based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCQA received funding from the Federal National Vaccine Program Office to develop measures that assess whether health plan members are current on vaccines:

  • Adult Immunization Status assesses the percentage of adults 19 years and older who are up to date on recommended routine vaccines for influenza, tetanus and diphtheria (Td) or tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap), herpes zoster and pneumococcal.
  • Prenatal Immunization Status evaluates the percentage of deliveries in the measurement period in which women received flu and Tdap vaccines during pregnancy.

BETTER DATA, BETTER MEASURES AND BETTER ACCOUNTABILITY

These new measures collect data using Electronic Clinical Data Systems (ECDS). ECDS is key to creating “measures that matter”: patient-centered assessments of whether the care people get improves their health.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

NCQA’s subject matter experts, Lindsey M. Roth, MPP, Senior Research Associate, and Katherine Sobel, Senior Health Care Analyst, hosted a webinar that walked through these new measures and provided background and analysis. Watch it here or below—and stay tuned for the engaging Q&A, with information about the shingles vaccines, guidelines for pneumococcal rates and immunization exclusions.

[1] HEDIS®—Healthcare Effectiveness and Data Information Set—is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).