QUALITY: L.A. Times Calls For Yardsticks
An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times argues that despite all the debate over managed care reform, there is consensus on the need for quantitative tools for quality measurement, calling for a "yardstick for HMOs." The Times notes that "[p]eople are bombarded with information from managed care providers ... but none of it tells them how well the plan might perform when they fall seriously ill." The Times points out that not only is information such as clinical success rates and nurse-to-patient ratios not released, "much of it is not even measured." Vice President Al Gore has recently convened a panel of business, insurance, consumer and medicine interests to develop "ways to help the public and employers assess whether managed care providers are delivering consistent, clinically effective health care." While some in the industry may balk, the Times believes the Gore panel can "establish what to measure and how to do it in a fair and even-handed way" (7/6).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.