Maryland Health Care Commission Offers Free Guide For Marylanders

Maryland Health Care Commission Offers Free Guide For Marylanders
To Make Informed Choices Regarding Health Care Coverage

Marylanders overwhelmed by large amounts of information they receive when they choose a health care plan can turn to one easy to read guide for answers, thanks to the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC). The Commission recently released its 11th annual Measuring the Quality of Maryland HMOs and POS Plans: 2007/2008 Performance Report and it is now available for individuals and employers to download for free at http://mhcc.maryland.gov/hmo.
The 'report card' rates the seven Maryland HMO/POS health plan providers, Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CIGNA, Coventry Health Care, Inc., Kaiser Permanente, M.D. Individual Practice Associates (M.D. IPA) and OCI, in overall service delivery and in individual service categories such as preventative care, chronic care, and behavioral health care.
For example, there is information on how well each plan provides immunizations or breast cancer screenings. In relation to chronic care, the report rates how well plans performed important health care services such as helping members control high blood pressure or monitor for kidney disease. It also compares how well plans provided behavioral health services such as follow-up after hospitalization.
The report is based on information from medical records and health plan members' responses to an independent survey relaying their opinions about the care they received while enrolled in the plans. New measurement information added to this year's report card rates the health plans in five additional categories: consumer engagement, preventive care, disease management, prescription management, and behavioral health care. This information was gathered using eValue8 TM, a tool developed by the National Business Coalition on Health.
In 2009, the report also will cover Preferred Provider Organizations or PPO plans which nationally enroll about three times as many people as HMOs.
Limited printed or CD copies of the report are also available by calling MHCC at 410-764-3460 or toll free at 877-245-1762.