California Health Plans Improve on Quality Measures for Diabetes Care, Exceed National Average

Market Watch Feb. 22, 2012, 9:02 a.m. EST

California Office of the Patient Advocate Releases 2012 Health Care Quality Report Card

SACRAMENTO, CA, Feb 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — California Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) improved on several quality measures this year including diabetes care, according to the 2012 Edition of the Health Care Quality Report Card released today by the California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA). However, health plans performed below the national average in testing for lung disease; alcohol and drug dependence treatment; flu shots for adults; appropriately treating children with throat infections; and providing treatment for children with attention deficit disorder.

“As California implements health care reform, more focus will be placed on quality and value of health care,” said Office of the Patient Advocate Director Sandra Perez. “The Health Care Quality Report Card is an excellent tool that helps consumers sort out their choices and make decisions based on their personal health care needs.”

The Report Card provides consumers with the information needed to make informed choices regarding their health care. Highlights from the 2012 report card include:

— Diabetes Care: HMOs exceeded national averages for most diabetes care measures by 7 to 10 percent and improved in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar. PPOs improved on testing for blood sugar, as well as testing for kidney function. — Heart Care: HMOs improved on controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol when compared to the national average. Both HMOs and PPOs scored lower in this year’s Report Card for administering heart attack medication. — Clinical Conditions: HMOs exceeded national averages on the quality of care measures for most clinical conditions, while PPOs were slightly lower than national averages. — Member Satisfaction: HMO and PPO member ratings improved regarding complaint resolution by 8 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. However, 33 percent of HMO members and 43 percent of PPO members were still dissatisfied with complaint resolution. — HMOs and PPOs have room to improve on testing for lung disease; alcohol and drug dependence treatment; flu shots for adults; appropriately treating children with throat infections; and providing treatment for children with attention deficit disorder. Read more