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NQF Updates Viral Disease Care Measures

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 9, 2013

The National Quality Forum on Tuesday endorsed four new measures for HIV care and re-validated 10 other measures designed to improve the way physicians treat other viral illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis.

About 1.2 million Americans now live with HIV infection, and healthcare spending on medical care, research and prevention totaled $21.3 billion in 2011, according to statistics maintained by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The four new HIV measures join another eight NQF endorsed measures for HIV care.

Among the four new endorsed measures, designed so that health plans and other payers might improve quality of care based on accepted evidence-based practice, are tracking the percentage of patients who regardless of age, and with a diagnosis of HIV:

  • Had at least one medical visit in each 6-month period of the 24-month measurement period with a minimum of 60 days between medical visits, to determine medical visit frequency.
  • Did not have a medical visit in the last 6 months of the measurement year.
  • Had an HIV viral load less than 200 copies/mL at the last test during the measurement year to determine viral load suppression.
  • Are prescribed antiretroviral therapy during the measurement year, to make sure patients are receiving prescription medications.
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