Flunking asthma? When HEDIS takes the ACT

Kaiser G. Lim, Ashok M. Patel, James M. Naessens, James T. Li, Gerald W. Volcheck, Amy E. Wagie, Felicity B. Enders, Timothy J. Beebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To test several patient-oriented asthma outcome measures and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure of appropriate medication for persistent asthma to determine the most useful quality indicator of asthma care. Design: Prospective mail survey of adult employees and dependents with asthma. Methods: The medical and pharmacy claims of all subjects from 12 months before and after the survey were abstracted. Outcomes measures included the Asthma Control Test (ACT), workday loss, unscheduled healthcare utilization (emergency department and inpatient care), and satisfaction with care. Results: Although 81% of all responders had well-controlled asthma, persistent asthma was uncontrolled in 28%. Only 64.5% received appropriate controller medication. Well-controlled asthma is associated with a high degree of satisfaction, less workday loss, fewer prednisone bursts, and minimal unscheduled healthcare utilization. Except for a reduced incidence of more than 2 oral corticosteroid dispensings (6.4% vs 13.6%, P = .012), compliance with the HEDIS appropriate medication for asthma was not positively associated with any of the patient-centered outcomes studied. Conclusions: Asthma control was the most useful patient outcome quality indicator in this study. Compliance with the HEDIS asthma measure in this population was not associated with a better patient-oriented outcome. This finding may be different with different levels of asthma control. The positive association between well-controlled asthma and patient satisfaction, minimal unscheduled healthcare utilization, and low workday loss suggests that asthma control as measured by ACT may be a better performance measure in asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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