PQA retires two health plan performance measures

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), through a majority vote of its members, has retired two health plan performance measures. Measures can be retired due to lack of use, changes in clinical guidelines, the development of newer, more appropriate measures or a lack of further opportunity for meaningful improvement.

The first measure, Antipsychotic Use in Children Under 5 Years Old, evaluated the percentage of children under age five using antipsychotic medications during the measurement year. A related measure, Metabolic Monitoring for Children and Adolescents on Antipsychotics, which is stewarded by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, is currently used in the Medicaid Child Core Set, which limits the opportunity for implementation and use of the PQA measure. Also, antipsychotic use in children is closely monitored in state Medicaid programs through use of clinical edits and other monitoring programs.

The second measure, Medication Therapy for Persons with Asthma, evaluated the percentage of individuals who received prescriptions for medications used to treat asthma with more than three canisters of a short-acting beta agonist inhaler over a 90-day period and who did not receive controller therapy during the same 90-day period. Clinical guidelines no longer support the measure as currently specified, as the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines no longer recommend treatment with short-acting beta agonists alone. Retirement of this measure provides an opportunity for PQA to pursue development of an asthma measure based on current clinical guidelines.

PQA’s staff, Measure Update Panel and Quality Metrics Expert Panel recommended these two measures be considered by PQA members for retirement. A public comment period was held prior to the vote. As a measure steward, PQA supports efforts to minimize measurement burden by retiring measures no longer relevant or in use.


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