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March 19, 1997

NCQA's Quality Compass, ver 1.0

Author Affiliations

MetaStar, Inc Madison, Wis

JAMA. 1997;277(11):937-938. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350087045

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which accredits managed care plans using its HEDIS (Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set) 2.5, has produced in Quality Compass a database of comparative information about 222 different organizations. Data were collected from April to June 1996; further reports are promised.

In addition to providing information about NCQA and about health plans in general, the CD enables the user to view analyses of the plans. Plans may be organized by location, keyword, line of business, and model type. One section lists the plans' accreditation status. Another, probably the most useful in the CD, provides three different levels of analysis: first, one may view comparative results using tables and graphs, comparing many plans across one HEDIS measure (for example, childhood immunization rates). Confidence intervals, national averages, and national health maintenance organization (HMO) averages are shown for comparison. Second, one may view summary reports