The National Committee for Quality Assurance says the number of U.S. residents in health plans that report NCQA quality statistics has increased to 106 million this year, from 82 million in 2007.

Medicaid plans showed little improvement, Medicare plans showed some improvement, and commercial health plans showed significant improvement, according to the NCQA, Washington, a health care quality consortium.

Commercial plans improved on 44 of the 54 quality measures used, and they made significant gains on the indicators for blood pressure control and postpartum care for new mothers and their babies, the NCQA says.

The only Medicaid plan indicator that showed much improvement was an indicator for delivery of childhood immunizations, the NCQA says.

The NCQA says Congress should include a provision in any health reform bill that would establish quality improvement benchmarks for each region of the country, to reduce variations in care quality.