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New Quality Measure Assessing Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Events Added to HEDIS 2010

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The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has proposed a new measure focused on the use of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular events. The new Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) measure, released on February 17 for public comment, will also evaluate communication between patients and health care providers about appropriate aspirin use.

An NCQA Press release says that Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of premature death in the U.S., which makes underuse of effective preventive care especially important. Aspirin has been shown to prevent heart attacks in many at risk, so every patient who should be taking it but isn’t is an opportunity for improvement. NCQA has worked with experts and clinicians to create this new measure to gauge progress in addressing this gap in care.

A 2006 study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found aspirin to be one of the three most clinically- and cost-effective preventative services.

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