WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The State of Health Care Quality Report 2013 from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) reveals important trends in U.S. health care, including:
Overuse of antibiotics is still a concern
In results that echo and corroborate recent Centers for Disease Control warnings about overuse of antibiotics leading to antibiotic resistance, NCQA’s finds no progress on overuse of antibiotics. Overuse is the main cause of antibiotic resistance, a public health menace that sickens 2 million people and kills 23,000 every year.
Increased attention to childhood obesity
Measures crucial to fighting childhood obesity have improved for the second consecutive year. Assessing children for obesity, counseling them on physical activity and advising them about nutrition are some of the measures that had substantial gains.
Good, and not so good, news on childhood immunizations
More kids enrolled in Medicaid HMOs are receiving recommended immunizations for influenza and rotavirus. But there has been no recovery in the alarming decline NCQA found three years ago in rates of children enrolled in commercial HMOs who receive other critical immunizations.
Drop in substance abuse treatment, especially in Medicare
The proportion of people diagnosed as chemically dependent who proceed to recommended, timely treatment has declined dramatically over several years. The drop has been largest in Medicare plans, suggesting that America’s fast-growing senior population is more likely not to get needed treatment for addiction.
More Medicaid enrollees like their care
Medicaid enrollment is growing and will continue to grow with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, patients are increasingly happy with the doctors—primary care and specialists—in their Medicaid plans.
The State of Health Care Quality Report 2013 synthesizes data collected throughout 2012 by NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®), health care’s most widely used performance improvement tool.
Click here for the full report.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.