Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: I agree with Dr McCormick and
colleagues1 that the high dropout rate of
health plans reporting HEDIS data in 1997-1998 represented a major threat
to the validity of the annual reporting of HMO performance by NCQA in our
Quality Compass (QC) databases and State of Managed Care Quality (SOMCQ) report.
In fact, NCQA recognized the problem of high dropout in its 1998 SOMCQ report,2 and in 1999 began requiring all NCQA-accredited
health plans to publicly report their HEDIS Effectiveness of Care and Consumer
Assessment of Health Plans (CAHPS) data. Unfortunately, the authors only examined
1996-1998 data, which do not reflect the current reality. Based on the data
available in QC 2000-2002, we believe that current NCQA reporting on HMO quality
is an accurate reflection of the care given to most patients enrolled in HMOs.
Pawlson LG. Public Disclosure of Health Plan Quality of CarePublic Disclosure of Health Plan Quality of Care. JAMA. 2003;289(7):845-847. doi:10.1001/jama.289.7.845-a