2021 Quality Rating System Measure Technical Specifications

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Health Insurance Exchange2021 Quality Rating SystemMeasure Technical SpecificationsSeptember 2020The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public inany way, unless specifically incorporated into a contract. This document is intended only to provide clarity tothe public regarding existing requirements under the law.


Technical Assistance and Contact InformationTechnical Assistance and Contact InformationThe following links and contact information should be used to obtain additional details and technicalassistance related to the Quality Rating System (QRS) measure set for 2021 (Measurement Year 2020).Website Links Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Insurance Marketplace Quality Initiativeswebsite: es.html National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and InformationSet (HEDIS ) 1 Compliance AuditTM DISComplianceAuditProgram.aspxContact Information1 For questions regarding the QRS clinical measure specifications, please contact the appropriatemeasure steward:o NCQA for the HEDIS measures: via the Policy Clarification Support (PCS) system availableat https://my.ncqa.org/Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) for the PQA measures: https://www.pqaalliance.org/QRS For questions regarding QRS survey measures, the QHP Enrollee Survey, or QRS requirements,please contact the Marketplace Service Desk (MSD) via email at CMS [email protected] or viaphone at 1-855-CMS-1515 (1-855-267-1515). Reference the “Marketplace Quality Initiative (MQI)QRS”.HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance.i


Table of ContentsTable of Contents1Introduction .12QRS Measure Set .53QRS Clinical Measure Specifications .93.1 NCQA Measure Specifications .93.2 PQA Measure Specifications .1874QRS Survey Measure Specifications .203iii


1. Introduction1


1. IntroductionIntroductionDocument PurposeThis document includes the measure specifications and guidelines for data collection for the 2021 QualityRating System (QRS) measure set. Qualified Health Plan (QHP) issuers will need to reference this documentin order to collect and submit QRS measure data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) inaccordance with the QRS 2021 requirements. The document specifically details the following: QRS measure set. This section includes a list of the QRS measures and a brief background on theQRS measure set. The QRS measure set is comprised of clinical quality measures, including theNational Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and InformationSet (HEDIS) measures and Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) measures. The measure set alsoincludes survey measures based on questions from the Qualified Health Plan Enrollee ExperienceSurvey (QHP Enrollee Survey). QRS clinical measure technical specifications. This section includes measure specifications and datacollection guidelines for NCQA’s HEDIS measures and the PQA measures in the QRS measure set.For the PQA measures, QHP issuers should refer to NCQA’s “General Guidelines for Data Collection”(see Section 3.1 for guidance related to data collection protocols, with the exception of a fewguidelines specific to the PQA measures as noted in Section 3.2). QRS survey measure technical specifications. This section includes descriptions for the surveymeasures in the QRS measure set that will be collected as part of the QHP Enrollee Survey.CMS anticipates updating this document on an annual basis to reflect any changes to the measure set,including changes to the measure specifications or data collection guidelines.BackgroundIn accordance with the requirements specified in the Quality Rating System and Qualified Health PlanEnrollee Experience Survey: Technical Guidance for 2021, QHP issuers that offered coverage through aHealth Insurance Exchange (Exchange) in the prior year are required to submit third-party validated QRSclinical measure data and QHP Enrollee Survey response data to CMS as a condition of certification. 2 CMSwill calculate the quality performance ratings for QHPs offered through all Exchanges, regardless of theExchange model. CMS will apply the QRS rating methodology to validated QRS clinical measure data and asubset of the QHP Enrollee Survey response data (QRS survey measures) to produce quality ratings on a 5star rating scale. 3 CMS will collect data and calculate quality ratings for each QHP issuer’s product type (e.g.,health maintenance organization [HMO]) within each state and apply these ratings to each product type’sQHPs in that State.245 CFR § 156.200(b)(5)(h); § 156.1120; and § 156.1125.The QHP Enrollee Survey includes a core question set that will be used to assess enrollee experience with health careservices. Specific questions are grouped to form survey measures that will be used in the QRS.33


2. QRS Measure Set5


2. QRS Measure SetQRS Measure SetThe QRS measure set consists of measures that address areas of clinical quality management; enrolleeexperience; and plan efficiency, affordability, and management. Exhibit 1 includes the list of QRS measuresrequired for 2021.The measure set includes a subset of NCQA’s HEDIS measures and PQA measures. The survey measuresin the QRS measure set will be collected as part of the QHP Enrollee Survey, which is largely based on itemsfrom the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems 4 (CAHPS ) surveys. For a crosswalkthat maps each QRS survey measure to the relevant QHP Enrollee Survey item(s), refer to QRS and QHPEnrollee Survey: Technical Guidance for 2021.Some measures have multiple indicators (or rates). QHP issuers are required to collect and submit validateddata for every indicator associated with a measure, unless a specific indicator is shown in parentheses next tothe measure, in which case only the indicator must be reported (e.g., for Childhood Immunization Status[Combination 3], only Combination 3 must be reported).Exhibit 1. 2021 QRS MeasuresMeasureStewardNational QualityForum (NQF) ID 5NCQA1388PQA3541Antidepressant Medication ManagementNCQA0105Appropriate Testing for PharyngitisNCQA0002Appropriate Treatment for Upper Respiratory InfectionNCQA0069Asthma Medication RatioNCQA1800Avoidance of Antibiotic Treatment for with Acute Bronchitis/BronchiolitisNCQA0058Breast Cancer ScreeningNCQA2372Cervical Cancer ScreeningNCQA0032Child and Adolescent Well Care VisitsNCQAN/AChildhood Immunization Status (Combination 3)NCQA0038Chlamydia Screening in WomenNCQA0033Colorectal Cancer ScreeningNCQA0034Comprehensive Diabetes Care: Eye Exam (Retinal) PerformedNCQA0055Comprehensive Diabetes Care: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Control ( 8.0%)NCQA0575Comprehensive Diabetes Care: Medical Attention for NephropathyNCQA0062Controlling High Blood PressureNCQA0018Follow-Up After Hospitalization for Mental Illness (7-Day Follow-Up)NCQA0576Immunizations for Adolescents (Combination 2)NCQA1407Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence TreatmentNCQA0004Measure TitleQRS Clinical MeasuresAnnual Dental VisitAnnual Monitoring for Persons on Long-term Opioid TherapyInternational Normalized Ratio Monitoring for Individuals on WarfarinPQA0555Plan All-Cause ReadmissionsNCQA1768Prenatal and Postpartum CareNCQA1517PQA0541Proportion of Days Covered4CAHPS is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The surveys are available athttps://cahps.ahrq.gov.5 Definitions of NQF-endorsed measures can be found here: http://www.qualityforum.org/Home.aspx7

2. QRS Measure SetMeasureStewardNational QualityForum (NQF) ID 5Use of Imaging Studies for Low Back PainNCQA0052Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children andAdolescentsNCQA0024Well-Child Visits in the First 30 Months of LifeNCQA1392Access to CareAHRQ, CMS0006Access to InformationAHRQ, CMS0007Care CoordinationAHRQ, CMS0006Flu Vaccinations for Adults Ages 18-64NCQA0039Medical Assistance With Smoking and Tobacco Use CessationNCQA0027AHRQ, CMS 60006Rating of All Health CareAHRQ00067Rating of Health PlanAHRQ00067Rating of Personal DoctorAHRQ00067Rating of SpecialistAHRQ00067Measure TitleQRS Survey MeasuresPlan Administration6 Measureconsists of CAHPS survey items and a survey item developed for purposes of the QHP Enrollee Survey.8

3. QRS Clinical Measure Specifications3.1 NCQA Measure Specifications3.2 PQA Measure Specifications9


Measurement Year 2020 (MY 2020)HEDIS General Guidelines for theQRS Measure TechnicalSpecifications11

HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (“NCQA”). The HEDIS measures andspecifications were developed by and are owned by NCQA. NCQA holds a copyright in these materials and may rescindor alter these materials at any time. Users of the HEDIS measures and specifications shall not have the right to alter,enhance or otherwise modify the HEDIS measures and specifications, and shall not disassemble, recompile or reverseengineer the HEDIS measures and specifications. No license is required for noncommercial use of the measures solely toreport quality data under for the Marketplace Quality Reporting System (QRS). All other uses, including a commercial use(including but not limited to vendors using or embedding the measures and specifications into any product or service tocalculate measure results for customers for any purpose) must be approved by NCQA and are subject to a license at thediscretion of NCQA.HEDIS measures and specifications are not clinical guidelines, do not establish a standard of medical care and have notbeen tested for all potential applications. The measures and specifications are provided “as is” without warranty of anykind. NCQA makes no representations, warranties or endorsements about the quality of any product, test or protocolidentified as numerator compliant or otherwise identified as meeting the requirements of a HEDIS measure orspecification. NCQA also makes no representations, warranties or endorsements about the quality of any organization orclinician who uses or reports performance measures. NCQA has no liability to anyone who relies on HEDIS measures andspecifications or data reflective of performance under such measures and specifications.Unadjusted Uncertified Measures: A calculated measure result (a “rate”) from a HEDIS measure that has not beencertified via NCQA’s Measure Certification Program, and is based on unadjusted HEDIS specifications, may not be calleda “Health Plan HEDIS rate” until it is audited and designated reportable by an NCQA-Certified HEDIS Compliance Auditor.Until such time, such measure rates shall be designated or referred to as “Uncertified, Unaudited Health Plan HEDISRates.”Adjusted Uncertified Measures: A calculated measure result (a “rate”) from a HEDIS measure that has not been certifiedvia NCQA’s Measure Certification Program, and is based on adjusted HEDIS specifications, may not be called an“Adjusted HEDIS rate” until it is audited and designated reportable by an NCQA-Certified HEDIS Compliance Auditor.Until such time, such measure rates shall be designated or referred to as “Adjusted, Uncertified, Unaudited HEDIS Rates.”Limited proprietary coding is contained in the measure specifications for convenience. Users of the proprietary code setsshould obtain all necessary licenses from the owners of these code sets. NCQA disclaims all liability for use or accuracyof any coding contained in the specifications.The American Medical Association holds a copyright to the CPT codes contained in the measure specifications.The American Hospital Association holds a copyright to the Uniform Billing Codes (“UB”) contained in the measurespecifications. The UB Codes in the HEDIS specifications are included with the permission of the AHA. All uses of the UBCodes may require a license from the AHA. Anyone desiring to use the UB Codes in a commercial Product(s) to generateHEDIS results, or for any other commercial use, must obtain a commercial use license directly from the AHA. To inquireabout licensing, contact [email protected] measure specifications contain coding from LOINC (http://loinc.org). The LOINC table, LOINC codes, LOINCpanels and form file, LOINC linguistic variants file, LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook, and LOINC/IEEE Medical DeviceCode Mapping Table are copyright 1995–2020 Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and the Logical Observation Identifiers Namesand Codes (LOINC) Committee and are available at no cost under the license at http://loinc.org/terms-of-use.“SNOMED” and “SNOMED CT” are registered trademarks of the International Health Terminology StandardsDevelopment Organisation (IHTSDO).No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,including photocopy, recording or any information storage and