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Health Plans Sign on for Nationwide Quality Improvement Effort

Published: Monday, January 31, 2005 - 23:00

The National Committee for Quality Assurance has announced that 39 health plans have committed to participate in NCQA’s Quality Plus program.Collectively, the plans cover 11.5 million Americans. Quality Plus standards focus on the depth, accuracy and interactivity of the information health plans provide to members. Quality Plus is the first set of standards in the quality improvement effort, which as a whole is called Member Connections.

“It’s gratifying that so many HMOs and PPOs have opted to be reviewed against the Member Connections standards, to demonstrate how they make it easy for members to access information and stay involved in their care,” says Margaret O’Kane, NCQA president. “Members who take advantage of the decision-making support that these plans provide will be more engaged with their care—and happier with their plan.”

Member Connections is the first step in NCQA’s effort to update its accreditation programs so that the same standards apply to a broader array of plan types. The standards assess how effectively an organization interacts with members via the Web and by telephone to help them understand benefits, access self-management tools and check claims status.

The Quality Plus program is a voluntary component of NCQA’s accreditation programs for HMOs, PPOs and point-of-service plans. Standards for two other new content areas, Physician and Hospital Quality, and Health Improvement, will be released in March. Plans that meet the standards in any or all three Quality Plus content areas will be recognized on NCQA’s Health Plan Report Card, which is available online.

For more information, visit www.healthchoices.org.

 

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.