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NCQA: Health Plan Quality of Care is Improving

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 31, 2012

In almost all areas measured, the quality of care provided by commercial and Medicare health plans is showing dramatic improvement, a trend that years from now will translate to better health for some 125 million Americans enrolled, according to the 2012 edition of the National Committee for Quality Assurance's annual report, "The State of Health Care Quality."

"One of our core beliefs, borne out of experience, is that what gets measured gets improved," said NCQA president Margaret O'Kane during a briefing Tuesday on the 230-page document.  

The report 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.

Those 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.

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