Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chlamydia Testing Remains Low/ Quality of Health Care Unimproved

For the third year in a row in the U.S., the quality of commercial health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid programs has not improved, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance's 2009 report released on Thursday, CQ HealthBeat reports (Litvin, CQ HealthBeat, 10/22). The report examined 2008 data from nearly 1,000 health plans voluntarily reporting data using the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. The report found that chlamydia screenings were one of five HEDIS measures for which fewer than 50% of patients were receiving adequate treatment. Forty percent of sexually active female patients ages 16 through 24 enrolled in a health plan were screened for chlamydia, the report said (BNA, 10/26). Plans that insure 116 million U.S. residents were studied- the quality of care varies dramatically by geographic regions -- with the Deep South and South Atlantic areas having the worst quality levels. According to the report, if all U.S. health care providers offered the same quality of care as the best 10% of plans, 115,300 deaths could be prevented. The report found no correlation between health care spending and quality of care. O'Kane said, "Everybody deserves to have the best health care. Quality needs to be the foundation of health care reform" (CQ HealthBeat, 10/22). O'Kane said that the report shows why health reform legislation must require all health plans and providers to report quality of care measures, not just those who do so voluntarily (BNA, 10/26).
Marilyn's comment- for starters; please see my 10/24/09 post and 10/16/09 post.

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