Assessing quality of care for migraineurs: a model health plan measurement set


Leas BF, Gagne JJ, Goldfarb NI, Rupnow MFT, Silberstein S. Assessing quality of care for migraineurs: a model health plan measurement set. Popul Health Manag. 2008;11 (4) :203-8.

Date Published:

2008 Aug


Quality of care measures are increasingly important to health plans, purchasers, physicians, and patients. Appropriate measures can be used to assess quality and evaluate improvement and are necessary components of pay-for-performance programs. Despite the broad scope of activity in the development of quality measures, migraine headache has received little attention. Given the enormous costs associated with migraine, especially in terms of lost productivity and preventable health care utilization, health plans could gain from a structured approach to measuring the quality of migraine care their beneficiaries receive. A potential migraine quality measurement set was developed through a review of migraine care literature and guidelines, interviews with leaders in migraine care, health care purchasing, and managed care, and the assembly of an advisory board. The board discussed candidate measures and established consensus on a testable measurement set. Twenty measures were developed, focused primarily on diagnosis and utilization. Areas of utilization include physician visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and imaging. Use of both acute and preventive medications is included. More complex aspects of migraine care are also addressed, including triptan overuse, the relationship between acute and preventive medications, and follow-up after emergency department visits. The measures are currently being tested in health plans to assess their feasibility and value. A compelling case can be made for the development of migraine-specific quality measures for health plans. This effort to develop and test a starter set of measures should lead to new and innovative efforts to assess and improve quality of care for migraineurs.
Last updated on 05/31/2019