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New California ‘report card’ compares health cost and quality


California consumers can now compare cost and quality ratings for more than 150 medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs).

The Medical Group Report Card for commercial health maintenance organization members is a four-star rating system and a  result of a partnership between the California Office of the Patient Advocate and the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), which represents more than 200 physician groups and the largest health insurers in the Golden State.

Medscape reported that “The IHA has published a comparative report card on groups that participate in managed care plans for about 12 years. The participating health plans began to measure and risk-adjust the total cost of care for each group in 2011. They started reporting to IHA on the groups’ total cost of care in 2014, and those results are included in the report card announced this week.”

“The total cost of care consists of all member healthcare costs, both insured and out of pocket, excluding mental health, substance abuse, vision, and dental costs, Jeffrey Rideout, MD, president and chief executive officer of IHA, told Medscape. So if a patient is linked to a physician in a particular medical group, all the downstream costs associated with that patient’s care are used in computing the group’s cost score.”

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