Health Plans Boost Diabetes Care, Struggle With Other Treatments
In an Office of the Patient Advocate report card released Wednesday, California's largest health plans showed improvement in caring for patients with diabetes in 2010Â but continued to have difficultiesÂ treatingÂ patients with other conditions, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Report Card Details
Plans were ranked with one to four stars in different care categories, depending on how well they met national standards and how patients rated them in areas such as customer service and scheduling appointments (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 2/22).
The report card assessed:
- 212 medical groups;
- NineÂ of California's largest HMOs; and
- SixÂ of California's largest PPOs (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 2/22). Â
California's largest HMOs surpassed national standards on most measures for diabetes care by 7% to 10%, OPA found. Compared with aÂ report card released five years ago, the latest OPA reportÂ shows that the plans improved their standings for controlling blood pressure and blood sugar.
However, the new reportÂ identified several areas in which many plans fell below national standards, including:
- Providing flu shots for adults;
- Testing for lung disease;
- Treating alcohol and drug dependence;
- Treating children with throat infections; and
- Treating children with attention deficit disorder.
Kaiser Permanente outranked other health plans, receiving four stars in most of OPA's categories. Most HMOs or PPOs did not receive four-star rankings in any category.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation also earned high scores, receiving four stars for meeting national standards of care and for patient rankings (Contra Costa Times, 2/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.