NCQA updates info on managed care plans

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has released an updated version of its national database of comparative information about the quality of the nation’s managed care plans.

The new Version 1.1 of the Quality Compass updates information from health plans that submitted data in August 1996 and includes performance information from 41 new participants.

The Quality Compass contains Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS 2.5) data and NCQA accreditation information from 250 health plans. National and regional averages and benchmarks for various HEDIS measures such as immunization and cholesterol screening rates, access to services, and average maternity length of stay have all been updated in Version 1.1.

NCQA plans to update these performance measures regularly and posts a subset on its Web site at The next release will be in August 1997 and be based on HEDIS 3.0 data which have more outcomes measures and indicators.

The complete Quality Compass is available on CD-ROM and allows users to compare plans against one another and against national top performing plans identified as benchmarks, on a single measure or a group of measures.

If you purchased Version 1.0, the update is free. For new buyers, the cost is tied to the number of plans the purchaser wants to view: $800 buys data on up to 25 plans; $1,600, 75 plans; $2,400, 150 plans; and $3,200 for the entire database. Regional printed reports using version 1.0 are available for $500 each. Call the NCQA Publications Center to order at (800) 839-6487.