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

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

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


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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — 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
& 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.

Now in its 11thyear, the report card contains quality and patient
experience information for the state’s nine largest HMOs, six largest PPOs and
212 medical groups representing 16 million California commercial health plan
members.


“OPA’s Health Care Quality Report Card sheds light on how well health plans
are serving Californians. Californians deserve to get the right care at the
right time to improve their health and stay healthy,” said Perez. “I am pleased
by the progress made on several measures in quality of care and am encouraged at
how health plans use this data to improve the care given to patients.”


The Health Care Quality Report Card has been a valuable tool for the health
care industry in their efforts to make improvements.


Jerry Penso, MD, MBA, Medical Director, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, San
Diego, who uses the data for quality of care improvements said, “We are proud to
reach the 90th percentile of national performance on managing blood sugar and
cholesterol for patients with diabetes as indicated in the Health Care Quality
Report Card. Meeting these standards is more than just a score or a grade; it
helps us save lives.”


Several new measures were added to the Report Card for 2012. For HMOs:
aspirin use counseling for heart patients and immunizations for adolescents. For
PPOs: additional diabetes and cardiovascular care measures; measures for
prenatal and postpartum care; and immunizations for adolescents.


For more detailed information about the 2012 Edition Health Care Quality Report
Card, visit http://www.opa.ca.gov/. Copies of the Report Card can also be
obtained by calling 1(888) 466-2219.


The California Office of the Patient Advocate was established in 2000 to
represent the interests of health plan enrollees in California by educating them
on their patient rights and responsibilities and publicly reporting on health
care quality. The OPA website provides a one-stop-shop on health care quality
reports covering health plans, medical groups, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families,
hospitals, and long term care facilities. It also includes other resources
to help consumers know their patient rights and get the most out of their health
care.



SOURCE The California Office of the Patient Advocate

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