MARYLAND: HMOs Lag in Preventive Care
HMO enrollees in Maryland visit their physicians fewer times each year and are more likely to be hospitalized than their counterparts in HMOs elsewhere, according to a new report issued by the Health Care Access and Cost Commission. The Baltimore Sun reports that the study, released yesterday, compares quality measures of Maryland HMOs to HMOs nationally in an effort to identify shortcomings and influence policy. According to the report, 82% of children ages two to six enrolled in HMOs in the state saw a doctor over the course of one year, compared to the national average of 89%. Similarly, 82% of adults aged 20 to 44 enrolled in HMOs in Maryland visited doctors during the year, compared with 87% nationally. The report also found that 68% of women ages 52 to 69 received mammograms over the course of one year, compared to the national average of 72%. HMOs in the state reported 55.38 hospitalizations per 1,000 enrollees, compared to the national average of 53.79. John Colmers, executive director of the HCACC, noted that the lower rates of preventive care visits could be related to the high rate of hospitalization (Salganik, 2/12).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.