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NCQA seeks comments on pediatric antipsychotic use

NCQA Seeks Public Comment On New HEDIS Measures On Pediatric Antipsychotic Use

By Sabriya Rice

Modern Healthcare

Posted: February 19, 2014 - 5:00 pm ET


The National Committee for Quality Assurance is seeking public comment on several new and revised measures to be included in the next version of their Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), a widely used tool to measure healthcare performance. The tool is updated as needed to support the latest scientific evidence about what works in healthcare.

Included is a suite of new measures focused on the use of antipsychotics in children and adolescents, which the committee says are among the most expensive, highest-risk and fastest-growing medication classes for children with mental disorders. Last year,  government health officials raised concerns over use of these medications in pediatric patients, noting that more than three-fourths of young people on Medicaid are taking at least one for an indication that was not FDA-approved. The committee will address six significant concerns, including the use of higher than recommended doses, multiple and concurrent use of the medications, and metabolic screenings and monitoring of children on the drugs.

“An important part of developing and updating HEDIS is the opportunity for the public to review measures and offer support, recommend changes or ask for clarification,” the NCQA said in their announcement.

Health plans, purchasers, consumers and other stakeholders can visit to read and comment on the relevance, scientific soundness and feasibility of the new measures and proposed changes. The comment period runs through 5 p.m. EST on March 19. New and updated HEDIS measures are expected to be published this summer.

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