HMOs Doing Better on Preventive Measures, NCQA Finds
More Americans enrolled in HMOs are receiving preventive treatments such as screenings and blood pressure medications, and are also reporting greater satisfaction with their health plans, according to a report released yesterday by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. The AP/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that NCQA compiled data from the year 2000 from the 372 HMOs it has accredited, which cover 63 million Americans and represent about 65% of all HMOs. The average percentage of heart attack patients in the HMOs surveyed who had received cholesterol screenings increased from 69% in 1999 to 74% in 2000; 52% of patients with high blood pressure were treated for their condition, up from 39% in 1999; and 48% of individuals with diabetes, which can cause blindness, received eye exams, up from 45%. And in 2000, 66.6% of HMO enrollees said that customer service was "not a problem," up from 64.5% in 1999 and 53.9% in 1998. The report did find that HMOs could do a better job of screening for chlamydia and following up on mental health treatments (AP/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/7). The full NCQA report can be found at http://www.ncqa.org/communications/news/somc2001.htm.