PacifiCare patients are using new data

The latest edition of PacifiCare Health Systems Quality Index physician and practice report card shows patients are making use of the data the system provides to consumers.

The report card rates groups in more than 40 specific areas, from patient safety to affordability. Preventive health screenings, access, and patient satisfaction data are provided for participating medical groups.

According to the company’s vice president and corporate medical director, Sam Ho, MD, better-performing groups in California attracted 30,000 more members than those who didn’t score as well — a membership gain that represents $18 million in increased revenues as a reward for improved quality.

Ho says that since its inception in 1998, scores have risen in areas such as breast cancer screening, diabetic care, and treatment for heart disease.

"We’ve also seen improvements in many service measures, including patients’ satisfaction with primary care doctors and decreased complaint rates about doctors as well. In fact, quality results for 18 of 26 measures have shown substantial improvement throughout the provider networks."

PacifiCare plans to expand the Quality Index profile to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas next year, and to include new measures profiling the performance of hospitals throughout its network.

PacifiCare of Oregon and PacifiCare of Washington issued their first profiles last winter and plan to release their fall 2001 editions later this year.