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California to publish PPO report cards


SACRAMENTO--California will have the first statewide health insurance report card for preferred provider organizations under an initiative announced this week by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Six of the state's largest PPOs--Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna Inc.; San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California; Hartford, Conn.-based CIGNA HealthCare; Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Health Net Inc.; Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.; and Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group--all have agreed to collect and report data on various quality-of-care measures and patient satisfaction surveys using Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The measures include information on clinical factors as well as consumer satisfaction survey data.

While PPOs have voluntarily reported HEDIS data to the NCQA for several years, this is the first time a state is launching such a widespread initiative to encourage plans to do so, according to a spokesman for the Washington-based NCQA. Beginning in 2008, PPOs seeking accreditation from the NCQA also must report HEDIS data to the organization, he said.

The California Department of Insurance plans to publish its first statewide PPO report card by 2009.