NU Online News Service, Sept. 7, 12:33 p.m. – The National Committee for Quality Assurance, Washington, is reporting a modest rebound in the number of managed care plans participating in its latest quality report.
The nonprofit group persuaded 372 health plans covering 63 million people to submit quality data for its fifth annual quality report.
Participation is still down from the 1999 report, which gave data for 410 plans covering 70 million people, possibly because of consolidation in the managed care industry. But participation is up in terms of the number of plan members enrolled in the participating plans.
The 2000 report quality gave data for 466 plans, but the participating plans covered only 51 million people.
Managed care companies and large employers started NCQA in the early 1990s, to come up with free-market approaches to improving health plan quality and ward off quality laws and regulations that might stifle innovation. Many states now require health plans doing business in their state to participate in NCQA quality programs or comparable programs organized by other groups.