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Letters
February 2, 2000

Quality of Health Care and the HMO Marketplace

Author Affiliations
 

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(5):602-605. doi:10.1001/jama.283.5.601

To the Editor: Dr Himmelstein and colleagues1 correctly point out the potential for inaccuracies in their study of the differences between investor-owned and not-for-profit health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) reports, although prescriptive in method, are unaudited (a shortcoming since addressed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance [NCQA]). Also, the ability of health plans to obtain accurate data varies greatly. Even allowing for all of this, the primary conclusion of the article, that "investor-owned HMOs deliver lower quality of care than not-for-profit plans," would merit serious consideration and discussion.

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