State Health Department Releases 2001 Interactive Report on Managed Care Health Plans in New York State

Information on Quality of Care and Member Satisfaction is Available on Department Web Site Immediately www.health.state.ny.us

Albany, November 27, 2001 – State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today released an interactive report on commercial, Medicaid and Child Health Plus managed care performance in New York State. The most recent data from the annual Quality Assurance Reporting Requirements (QARR), a compilation of performance data collected from New York State managed care plans, forms the basis for eQARR 2001.

"One of the Health Department's top priorities is to provide consumers and providers with the most accurate and up–to–date information possible, so that they can make informed health care decisions. The eQARR is just our latest effort to provide the public with useful data and give providers information that they can use to compare their services with that of other health care plans. This will enable providers to work harder to improve their services and become more competitive," Dr. Novello said.

The new interactive eQARR furnishes rates on standardized quality measures from QARR for 24 commercial and 30 Medicaid and Child Health Plus managed care plans. Moreover, statistical ratings comparing plans to statewide averages in quality and satisfaction should assist consumers and purchasers in determining the better performing plans.

Among the findings in the 2001 eQARR interactive report:

Children

  • 64 percent of children in Medicaid managed care received the recommended number of childhood immunizations by their second birthday. This is well above the national Medicaid benchmark of 54 percent.
  • 76 percent of Medicaid managed care children ages two years and younger received at least one capillary or venous blood screening test for lead poisoning. This is the highest rate over the last six years (up from 64 percent in 1994) and significantly higher than the federal Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimate of 21 percent (based on a study of 15 states' Medicaid programs).
  • 60 percent of children ages five to 18 years with moderate to severe asthma, enrolled in a Child Health Plus managed care plan, received the appropriate medical management (inhaled corticosteroids and/or cromolyn) to prevent asthma attacks. This rate increased from the previous year's 53 percent.

Women

  • 71 percent of women enrolled in Medicaid managed care received a Pap smear within the last two years. This is the highest rate over the last six years (up from 43 percent in 1994) and well above the national Medicaid benchmark of 60 percent.
  • 75 percent of women ages 52 to 69 years, enrolled in a commercial managed care plan, had a mammogram within the last two years. This is the highest rate over the last six years, up from 68 percent in 1994.

Quality of Care

  • 58 percent of adult commercial managed care enrollees ages 46 to 85 years, diagnosed with hypertension, had adequately controlled high blood pressure. This is a significant increase over the previous year's rate of 39 percent, higher than the national rate of 52 percent and above the Healthy People 2010 goal of 50 percent.
  • 79 percent of commercial managed care enrollees ages 18 to 75 years, who were diagnosed with diabetes, had one or more Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test(s) performed to evaluate the control of their disease. This rate is an increase over the previous year's rate of 77 percent and higher than the national average of 78 percent.

Member Satisfaction

  • 81 percent of commercial managed care enrollees indicated that over the last year they received health plan services quickly. This rate is higher than the national rate of 78 percent.
  • 63 percent of commercial managed care enrollees said that on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 was the worst health plan possible and 10 is the best health plan possible, they would rate their health plan an eight, nine or 10. This rate is higher than the national average of 59 percent.
  • 87 percent of Medicaid managed care enrollees gave a favorable rating for how well their providers communicate. Although 11 percent called or wrote their health plan with a complaint, 85 percent would recommend their health plan to family or friends.

Health plan results are available by payor and are grouped into six regions – Central, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Northeast and Western. By accessing a region, information can be obtained for the commercial, Medicaid or Child Health Plus plans providing services in that region and the counties within it.

Quality of care is represented in three sections in the interactive report, Prenatal and Postnatal Care, Child and Adolescent Care and Adult Care. Measurements range from preventive care for pregnant women and children to care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma.

Satisfaction is measured by members' responses to 10 questions regarding access and service provided by their Medicaid and commercial health plans and practitioner(s). The questions are from a standardized member satisfaction survey, the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans (CAHPSTM 2.0).

In addition to being available on the State Health Department's Web site, www.health.state.ny.us, under Features – " Health Care Performance" button, the 2001 annual QARR Report will also be distributed to consumers, health plans, libraries, business groups, local health departments and social service agencies, among others, later this year, Regional Consumer Guides, which include select quality and satisfaction information from Medicaid managed care plans, will be posted on the Web site as well in coming weeks.

11/27/01–126 OPA