NCQA reports that health care quality improves but varies significantly

More than 100 Million Americans Covered By Health Plans that Report Performance; Two-Thirds of the System Remains a Mystery

According to a recent report by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), health care quality for millions of Americans improved in 2007 but significant variations in performance continue to leave many people receiving substandard care. While quality improved for most people in private health insurance plans, there was little improvement in the care delivered to those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, the nation’s two largest public health care programs. Eliminating variations in the delivery of evidence-based care across the health care system could save up to 88,000 lives each year, the report concludes.

Each year, NCQA examines the state of health care quality through data submitted by health plans across the country. In 2008, a record 845 health plans reported on their performance covering 106 million Americans—a 29 percent increase over 2007. These data paint a picture of the American health care system that highlights where it is performing well and where it needs improvement.

Click here for the NCQA release, and here for the NCQA report.

(SOURCE: Advisory Board Daily Briefing , http://advisory.com , October 3, 2008; NCQA, http://ncqa.org , accessed October 5, 2008)