The Health Effectiveness Data And Information Set ( Hedis ) Measures

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Introduction The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures are indicators used by more than 90% of national healthcare plans to assess quality of care on important health issues (National Committee for Quality Assurance [NCQA], 2016)). This paper will focus on the HEDIS measure of physical activity in older adults. This paper will assert the importance of physical activity to the national healthcare landscape, and will investigate the guidelines and research that influence this measure. Lastly, the significance and effectiveness of this measure in primary care will be discussed. Background With the development of HEDIS measures, the emphasis on physical activity in older adults has taken on greater significance. Physical inactivity contributes to an estimated 27% of national healthcare costs, and older adults are more likely to develop chronic disease preventable by physical activity (Neidrick, Fick, & Loeb, 2012). Currently, less than 20% of older adults meet the activity recommendations set forth by the CDC, and over half are considered to lead a sedentary lifestyle (National Quality Measures Clearinghouse [NQMC], 2015; Neidrick, Fick, & Loeb, 2012). Specifically, physical inactivity increases the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2015). In addition, older adults who are less active are at increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis and osteoporosis, and muscle weakness and imbalance can contribute to falls and injury (CDC, 2015). Ninety-three percent of older adults visit their primary care provider (PCP) annually, offering a unique opportunity for providers to target this population and encou... ... middle of paper ... ...tions and improves quality of life in older adults (USDHHS, 1996). While the measure can determine the percentage of patients who have had provider discussions about physical activity, the correlation of counseling to long term increased physical activity in seniors has not been demonstrated through research (NQMC, 2015; Neidrick, Fick, & Loeb, 2012). Future research needs to focus on the effectiveness of the HEDIS measure in producing positive outcomes, as well as what specific interventions increase the efficacy of long term increased physical activity in older adults. The benefits of physical activity - reducing cost, improving chronic health conditions, preventing illness, and improving quality of life - for elderly patients is substantial, and providers must continue to find ways to include this important preventative health measure discussion whenever possible.

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