Health plans have been at the forefront in providing information on the quality of health care they provide to their members.
All New York State health plans collect data on certain care measures—how many children under the age of two are immunized, how many women receive regular Pap exams or mammograms. These measures, called HEDIS, which stands for Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, have national standards with which the plan can compare its experience. Most plans have used this data to develop “report cards” that show how the plan is doing and are usually very eager to share this information with consumers.
In addition to information provided by plans to their members and the public, the New York Department of Health has a public reporting system called the Quality Assurance Reporting Requirements (QARR), which collects quality and satisfaction measures for all plans in New York, and publishes an annual report of health plan performance. The Department of Health and Department of Financial Services also produce a joint Guide to Health Insurers that consumers can use to evaluate plan performance. Independent organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) also provide useful information that can help consumers assess their health care choices.