FAQs Health Organization Questionnaire (HOQ) General Information

Health Organization Questionnaire (HOQ)
General Information
What is the timeframe for completing the HOQ?
The HOQ will be available online starting Monday, February 1, 2010. All HOQ submission
requests are due by 11:59PM EST on Friday, February 26, 2010.
What web browsers does the HOQ support?
Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher.
Where can I find additional materials on how to complete the HOQ?
On the Home page of the organization the Help section contains the follow resources:
Users Guide: A general overview of this tool.
Tutorials: Guide you through using this tool.
Glossary: Defines terms used in the tool.
Who can I contact for additional help in completing the HOQ?
Contact your NCQA HEDIS Account Manager directly via phone or email or submit an email to
the HOQ mailbox at [email protected]
User Access
I am a Primary HEDIS contact, how do I assign an authorized user to the organization?
1. Click on the User Management Tool link from the My NCQA page
2. Click Create New User
3. Enter the User Name (email address) and create a strong password.
4. Select the organization(s) the user should have access to
How do I remove a user from the User’s List?
1. Click User Management Tool from the My NCQA page
2. On the User List page, beside the name of the selected user, click Remove.
3. Click OK, to confirm
How do I edit an existing contact if they recently got married and need to enter my new last
name or changed phone number? Can I click “Inactivate” and add back the same contact?
You do not need to inactivate the existing contact.
1. Click the Contact’s Name link
2. Make updates
3. After you have edited the information, click Save.
How do I request a submission if I must change a submission component?
If you must change a key submission component (product line, reporting product, special
project, special area or CMS contract number) click on the Request New Submission link to
create a new submission in order to receive a new submission id.
Why did the system change a submission ID that our plan had from the previous year?
Any changes to one of the following key submission components (product line, reporting
product, special area or special project) from the previous year’s submission will generate a
new sub id. If you must change any of the submission components click on the Create New
submission link. Changing any of these submission components will generate a new submission
id which may affect trending.
I have created a new Medicaid submission with Adult CAHPS and now the system is asking
me for a rotation number. What is a rotation number?
If this is your first time requesting an Adult survey for this particular Commercial or Medicaid
submission, you will not have a submission id from the previous year to enter. If you wish to
rotate you on a previous submission id you must get approval from NCQA’s Policy Department
at Policy Clarification Support (PCS) at www.ncqa.org/pcs. Once you have approval contact
your account manager to enter this information on the back end.
When I create a new submission, why do I see (****) instead of a new submission ID?
All submissions must go through an approval process. After this is complete, you will receive
your actual submission ID(s) to provide your HEDIS Auditor and/or CAHPS vendor after the
Interactive Data Submission System (IDSS) is released in late April.
Can I request both a regular HEDIS submission and one that is State mandated for the same
Yes. If you need an additional submission for the same product line/reporting product (e.g.,
Commercial HMO), create two submissions. One submission will have the Special Project of
the state [Name of State; e.g., TX Commercial] and a second duplicate submission will need to
be created for your regular HEDIS submission with the Special Project left as "None."
How do I request a new SNP submission?
Select Special Needs Submission from the Submission Type field. The key components for
requesting an SNP submission are Special Area (scroll down to the series of SNP PlanID
numbers) and Special Project (scroll down to the series of SNP-Plan Types) and CMS contract
Why will the system not allow me to add HOS to my SNP submission if I the SNP meets the
eligibly criterion for HOS?
You must request a separate HOS-only submission for each SNP that meets the enrollment
Where do I add my SNP product information?
For the Medicare population, combine all MA and SNP populations under the applicable product
line (e.g., Medicare HMO)
Click on Products on the blue menu bar
Click the View/Edit link for the product.
Click Edit.
Enter the product information in the blank pop-up box.
Click Save.
Marking Final
How can I review the HOQ to double check what I have completed before I mark final?
Once you complete the HOQ, click on Reports on the menu bar to generate a 2010 HOQ Interim
Summary Report and review it to ensure that the data are correct. We highly recommend this
step. Once you submit the HOQ, you cannot make any further modifications to it.
Interactive Data Submission System (IDSS)
General Information
What is the timeframe for completing IDSS submissions?
Commercial and Medicaid submissions are due by 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.
Medicare submissions are due by 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The
corresponding Attestation of Accuracy, Public Reporting Authorization & Data Use Agreement
(Attestation) is also due on these dates.
What web browsers does the IDSS support?
Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher.
Where can I find additional materials on how to complete the HOQ?
On the Home page of the organization the Help section contains the follow resources:
Users Guide: A general overview of this tool.
Tutorials: Guide you through using this tool.
What happens if an organization cannot meet the submission deadlines or fines an error(s)
after the deadlines?
Please reference the Deadline Notification Letter located under Communications.
How does an organization know if it meets the qualifications for Public Reporting?
Please reference the Conditions for Public Reporting letter located under Communications.
Who can I contact for additional help in completing the IDSS?
Contact your NCQA HEDIS Account Manager directly via phone or email or submit an email to
the IDSS mailbox at [email protected]
User Access
How do I retrieve my IDSS password?
Go to http://idss.ncqa.org. Click on the “Forgot your Password?” link. Enter your email address
and click the Send Password button*. The system will automatically send your password to your
email address.
*Note: In order to retrieve your password you must first have access to the system.
Where can I find the IDSS user's guide?
The User's Guide can be found by either clicking on Instructions on the Home page or by
clicking on the Help link on the Menu bar*.
*Note: the user's guide is in Adobe PDF format. Please make sure you have Adobe prior
to attempting to open the user's guide.
Will NCQA review comments entered into the Comments field on the ART?
No. Only the auditor will have the rights to enter comments on the ART. NCQA will not review
these comments nor will it use this field for data reporting or analysis.
How and where do I assign users and my Auditor to IDSS?
Only org admins (Primary HEDIS contacts) has the ability to assign users to their organizations.
We have added the ability to add and assign multiple users to an organization in two ways
(Organization or User Management Tool). This may be used whichever way best suits your
plan’s needs. Please reference the IDSS User’s Guide for detailed instructions.
1. Organization Management Tool: used to add multiple users to a single organization.
This is best suited for contacts that have one or two org but have many users to add at
once (lists all of the organizations the org admin is the Primary HEDIS contact for).
2. User Management Tool: use to add a single user to multiple organizations at once (lists
all of the organizations the org admin is the Primary HEDIS contact for).
After saving, you must assign one of the following roles below to each user:
1. Org User: read/write ability to the data, read auditor comments, apply plan lock ,
and import data
2. Auditor: read/write Audit and apply the Audit lock
3. Signer: Assigned only to an officer of the company (President, CEO, COO,
CMO, CFO or CIO) with the authority to sign/e-sign the Attestation(s)
4. Viewer: read only access to the data
Can more than one user be logged into the same IDSS submission at the same time?
Yes, multiple users can be logged into the same Submission ID at the same time. However,
please coordinate with colleagues to make sure there is not a duplication of efforts.
1. Do not use the same User Name and Password (you will always kick the other out of
the system)
2. Only one (1) person should be assigned or working in a measure domain at a time (the
last person to save or re-import data for whatever reason is what will be saved in the
XML Files
What is the difference between the XML schema and the XML import templates?
The XML Schema is the specific outline or structure used to define the exact structure that an
IDSS import template should be, in an industry-standard way. The XML Import templates
contain which measures exist and include the data elements for each measure.
What is the best way to import and export the IDSS XML template using SAS?
The XML file will need to be flattened into a table format. This can be done by using one of the
* the Xalan processor from the Apache XML Project at Http://xml.apache.org/
* the XT processor by James Clark
*use a XMLMap to map the XML to SAS datasets
Below are a few links that will also help:
Data Collection
Medicare and Medicaid: Race/Ethnicity Diversity of Membership (RDM) percentages. Upon
entering a denominator of less than 30 I am not getting "NA".
If your denominator is <30 your total will calculate to 0 for this measure.
How should we fill out the IDSS if our plan reported on administrative data on a sample or on
an eligible population of less than the minimum required sample size?
The plan should identify the methodology as Hybrid and fill out the IDSS accordingly.
For measures that are reported through the hybrid methodology, should the denominator lines
and the lines for "Number of numerator events by administrative data in eligible population
(before exclusions)" reflect only the results for the sample members, or should they reflect the
results for all members from the eligible population who qualify for the denominator?
The data element "Number of numerator events by administrative data in eligible population
(before exclusions)" is looking for all numerators hits in the eligible population, not just the
sample. It is divided by the eligible population to get the "Current year's administrative rate
(before exclusions)". Further down, the element "Number of numerator events by administrative
data in FSS" is looking for all numerator hits in the sample, before exclusions are removed and
additional records added in. It is divided by the Final Sample Size to get the "Administrative
rate on FSS". Last of all, "Numerator events by administrative data," which appears just after the
denominator, is looking for the numerator hits in your final denominator. This, plus the
"Numerator events by medical records" is what you will divide by the denominator to get your
final rate. If you have any further questions, please contact the Policy Clarification Support at
http://www.ncqa.org/programs/faq/PCS.asp for a more detailed explanation.
Workbook & Import Templates
What is the difference between the Generic Import Template and Product-Line Specific
Import Templates?
The Generic Import Template contains all of the measures across the three product lines
(commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid) found in the HEDIS 2007 Volume 2 Technical
Specifications but excludes the audit elements*. The product specific import templates only
include the measures for that product line along with the audit elements.
*Note: If you chose to use the generic import template upon uploading the data the
measure will not be immediately available for viewing. Proceed by navigating to the
Audit Review Table to check of which measure(s) you are reporting data on.
Printing Measures
How can I print out the measure sheets in the IDSS?
Printing out the measures can be done in two ways.
1. Each of the measures can be exported individually by navigating to the measure you
wish to export and click on the Export to Microsoft Excel link on the measure screen.
This will automatically export the measure into Excel where the measure sheet can be
formatted and printed.
2. All of the measures can be exported to and printed from one Excel workbook. Click on
Tools, Reports and Downloads, and choose Workbook and Import Templates. Click on
the Data-filled workbook (Export) link. All of the measures for that particular submission
Id will be exported into one Excel workbook. All of the individual measures will be
located on its own tab. You may format the measure sheets if you need to and proceed by
clicking on File and Print in Excel.
*Note: that once the data is exported out of the IDSS the cells in Excel will not be
Audit Review Table
I cannot locate the Satisfaction with the Experience of Care measure domain to check the
CAHPS survey(s) my plan participated in?
Effective January 1, 2010 the CAHPS section has been completely removed from the Audit
Review Table.
How do you rotate data in IDSS?
Click on the Audit Review Table (ART), within the ART there is a Rotated Measure column.
Select a measure eligible for rotation (eg.; Controlling High Blood Pressure (cbp)). The rotated
measure column may read “N” for No, to change this click on the measure. Once the measure
table appears select the drop down menu on the Measurement Year and change the year to 2008.
Be sure to click Save Changes on the bottom of the screen. When you return to the ART the
Rotated Measure column should be change from “N” to “Y”.
I have a message on the Audit Review Table that states I have a measure that contains data
but it is not marked as “Reported”. How do I remove the message in order to apply the Plan
Click on Measures on the top blue menu bar then select Measure List (index). There will be a
Clear Measure column to the right for which you can place a check in the box for any measure(s)
you wish to not report. Once this is completed click on “Clear Measure” button located at the top
and bottom of the column to remove all data from the selected measure(s).
Data Submission
Does CMS require a patient-level detail file for each SNP benefit package submission?
No. The plan does not create a separate patient-level file for each SNP submission, although the
patient-level data submitted for the larger contract level must include all MA members, including
members enrolled in SNP benefit packages.
If a plan is not required to submit HEDIS data are they still required to report the Structure
and Process (S&P) measures?
There are NO exemptions for the S&P measures. A plan must complete the Structure and
Process measures regardless of membership or HEDIS.
How do I run my data through the Tier 2 Validations?
When you are ready to run through second tier validations click on Validate Data from the
Submission List page or click on the Reports on the tool bar and select Validations. Click on the
Second Tier Validation Report link, and then click on the Validate Workbook button. IDSS will
run through the validations and when complete will display a report of results.
How does my auditor review my data?
When your data no longer has Errors you can go to the ART to Apply the Plan Lock button.
Notify your auditor when you have done so and they can begin the review of your data (please
reference pages 37 - 38 of the IDSS Users Guide).
How do I finalize my submission and know that the data submitted is complete and final?
Once the Auditor applies the Audit Lock you are now ready to finalize your submission. On the
Submission List page the Mark Final link is available (please reference page 40, step 2 of the
IDSS Users Guide) if you are ready click on the Mark Final. It is at this time that NCQA has
received your data and you have completed the submission process for the submission ID and
you will receive an e-mail confirmation from the IDSS mailbox. NCQA also receives a copy of
the email. When the word "FINAL" is listed under the Final column in green (please reference
page 40, steps 3 and 4 of the IDSS Users Guide), you will not be able to make any changes to
your submission.
Why were the following IDSS Tier 2 Validations disabled for HEDIS 2010 (fpc-v-39440679,
fpc-v-97376435, fpc-v-25397027, fpc-v-47677638)?
We determined that this standard hybrid measure validation did not apply to Frequency of
Ongoing Prenatal Care based on the way members are reported in the visit categories after
medical record review. Because the number of visits for a member could increase due to
additional visits found during chart review, these checks were producing erroneous warnings.
How will the IDSS display errors found in my data?
After importing your data into the IDSS, if you have errors in your file, you will be automatically
transported to the Workbook validation report (per worksheet) 1st Tier validation screen. All of
the errors found in the file will be displayed on the screen and listed out by measure name. To
correct the error, click on the measure name link to be transported to the measure screen. The
errors will be displayed directly on the measure screen. After you have corrected the errors click
the Save Changes button.
If during manually data entry an incorrect value is entered, the error will display when you
attempt to save.
Why were the Inpatient E&M and Inpatient Surgery and Procedure “warning” checks
removed for the RRU measures in IDSS?
The warnings for RRU are set based on the 5% and 95% of the distributions for HEDIS 2008 and
2009. Because procedure-surgery and evaluation & management were reported as totals instead
of as inpatient v. outpatient, the applied values appear to be falsely triggering alarms for plans in
the inpatient categories. Therefore, we are turning the alarms off for these categories: IP Surgery
and Procedure, IP E&M.
Plan Lock
I need to make a change in my submission but I have applied the Plan Lock. How do I remove
the lock?
Once the Plan Lock is applied to your submission only your Auditor has the rights to remove the
lock. Please contact your auditor if you need this lock removed.
Attestation and Public Reporting
Who do I send the paper Attestation to if my organization does not do e-signing?
Please send the attestation to the attention of your HEDIS Account Manager at:
1100 13th Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
What is E-Signing?
The ability for the org admin (Primary HEDIS contact) to assign a new role of "signer" to
indicate intentions which will be available for the Signing Authority of the organization
(President, CEO, COO, CMO, CFO or CIO) to sign off on the Attestation of each submission
ID electronically verses paper signature. The organization may use either paper or e-signing,
whichever one best suits your plan’s needs.
Do I need a separate Attestation for my Adult, Child and Child CCC 4.0H survey data?
No, the attestation covers all components of a submission (HEDIS and CAHPS). The Attestation
will be downloadable and located within IDSS. You will need to print the Attestation, have it
signed by an authorized officer of your organization and delivered to NCQA by the submission
deadline in order for NCQA to use your data for Accreditation scoring, benchmarking and/or
public reporting in Quality Compass.
What if I'm doing a CAHPS only submission? Do I still need to submit an Attestation?
Yes, an Attestation is required for all submissions regardless of component type.
*Note: HOS only submissions do not require an attestation.
When will NCQA confirm receipt of my Attestation?
We will post the status of receipt of your Attestation under the Submission List page one week
after the attestation is received. A 'Y' under the Attest Rec’d column of the Data Submission
page means that NCQA has received your attestation. An 'N' or missing value means we have
not received the attestation for that sub ID. The Y/N flags will be updated regularly throughout
the month of June.