NCQA: Quality of Healthcare Showing Improvement

The quality of care provided through both commercial and Medicare health plans is showing improvement in almost all areas measured, according to a report in HealthLeaders Media.

The report cites a study, “The State of Health Care Quality,” from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, which tracks performance on more than 40 measures surveyed for the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) between 2009 and 2011.

Measures include care for blood pressure and colorectal cancer screening, smoking cessation counseling, use of beta-blockers after a heart attack, the use of two or more high-risk medications among seniors, and childhood immunizations.

One issue for which care has improved drastically is obesity. Between 2009 and 2011, adults who had an outpatient visit and whose doctor documented their BMI increased from 41.3 percent to 55.4 percent for commercial HMOs, from 15.7 percent to 26.3 percent for commercial PPOs, and from 38.8 percent to 68.2 percent for Medicare HMOs and from 24.1 percent to 62.2 percent for Medicare PPOs.