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NCQA: Health Plan Quality of Care is Improving

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 31, 2012

For children, there was even greater improvement in standard of care assessments of weight as well as whether doctors counseled them on exercise and nutrition, other measures in the set. O'Kane said that doctors are realizing they need to stress to their pediatric patients and their parents about the importance of managing diet and nutrition.

In 2009, the percentage of commercial HMO, commercial PPO, Medicaid HMO patients who received physical activity counseling was 36.5%, 17.6%, and 32.5%. But by 2011, the percentages were 43%, 25.7%, and 40.6%

Appropriate colon cancer screening for people between 50 and 75 increased from 60.7% to 62.4% and from 47% to 54.6% for commercial HMO and PPO enrollees, respectively. Among Medicare enrollees, colon cancer screenings increased from 54.9% to 60% and 40.1% to 55.2% for commercial HMO and PPO plan members respectively.

Use of spirometry, appropriate asthma care, appropriate treatment for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, all showed a 1% to 2% improvement. Blood pressure checks for people diagnosed with hypertension increased 5 percentage points in almost all categories, and for patients in commercial PPO plans, from 48.3% to 58.4%.

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