COVID-Driven Telehealth Surge Triggers Changes to Quality Measures

Revisions Reinforce Use of Telehealth During Pandemic and After

The Board of Directors of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) approved a sweeping set of adjustments to 40 of its widely-used Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures – in support of health plans, clinicians and patients who rely on telehealth services in record numbers as a result of the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes will apply to the measurement of healthcare quality starting this year. They align with recent telehealth guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other federal and state regulators.

“You cannot drive quality improvement if your measures don’t take into account what has quickly become the fastest-growing modality for providing healthcare services,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “The timely approval by our Board of these changes signals that we understand the important role telehealth has played in making care available amid an unprecedented national lockdown and that it will continue to be an important part of the healthcare system going forward.”

The 40 HEDIS measures that have new accommodations for telehealth are:

Prevention and Screening

Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children/Adolescents

Breast Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Care for Older Adults


Use of Spirometry Testing in the Assessment and Diagnosis of COPD

Asthma Medication Ratio

Cardiovascular Conditions

Controlling High Blood Pressure

Persistence of Beta-Blocker Treatment After a Heart Attack

Statin Therapy for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

NEW MEASURE: Cardiac Rehabilitation


Comprehensive Diabetes Care

NEW MEASURE: Kidney Health Evaluation for Patients with Diabetes

Statin Therapy for Patients with Diabetes

Musculoskeletal Conditions

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis- Scheduled for Retirement

Osteoporosis Management in Women Who Had a Fracture

NEW MEASURE: Osteoporosis Screening in Older Women

Behavioral Health

Antidepressant Medication Management

Follow-up Care for Children Prescribed ADHD Medication

Follow-up After Hospitalization for Mental Illness

Follow-up After Emergency Department Visit for Mental Illness

Diabetes Screening for People with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Who Are Using Antipsychotic Medication

Cardiovascular Monitoring for People with Cardiovascular Disease and Schizophrenia

Diabetes Monitoring for People with Diabetes and Schizophrenia

Adherence to Antipsychotic Medications for Individuals with Schizophrenia

Care Coordination

Transitions of Care

Follow-up After Emergency Department Visit for People with Multiple High-Risk Chronic Conditions

Access/Availability of Care

Prenatal and Postpartum Care

Use of First-Line Psychosocial Care for Children and Adolescents on Antipsychotics


Well-Child Visits in the First 30 Months of Life

Child and Adolescent Well Care Visits

Mental Health Utilization

Neha Pandey
Neha Pandey
Aware of her elements, Neha writes the best articles across industries including electronics & semiconductors, automotive & transportation and food & beverages. Being from the finance background she has the ability to understand the dynamics of every industry and analyze the news updates to form insightful articles. Neha is an energetic person interested in music, travel, and entertainment. Since past 5 years, she written extensively on sectors like technology, finance and healthcare.