Background: The Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures are used extensively to measure quality of care. Objective: To evaluate selected aspects of the HEDIS measure of appropriate use of asthma medications. Methods: Claims data were analyzed for commercial health plan members who met HEDIS criteria for persistent asthma in 1999. The use of asthma medications was evaluated in the subsequent year with stratification by controller medication and a measure of adherence (days' supply). Multivariate logistic regressions were used to evaluate the association among long-term controller therapy for persistent asthma, adherence to therapy, and asthma-related hospitalizations or emergency department (ED) visits, controlling for demographic, preindex utilization, and other confounding characteristics. Results: Of the 49,637 persistent asthma patients, approximately 35.7% were using 1 class of long-term controller medications, 18.4% were using more than 1 class, and 45.9% were not using such medication. More than 25% of the persistent asthma patients did not use any asthma medication in the subsequent year. Patients with low adherence to controller medication had a significantly higher risk (odds ratio [OR], 1.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-2.08) of ED visit or hospitalization relative to patients not using any controllers compared with persons with moderate (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.57-1.23) or high (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.34-1.44) adherence. Patients receiving a high days' supply of inhaled corticosteroids had the lowest risk of ED visit or hospitalization (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.05-2.69). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that refinements to the HEDIS measure method for identifying patients with persistent asthma may be needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine