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    Md. Health Care Commission releases 2015 Comprehensive Quality Report 
    Data compare performance of Commercial Health Benefit Plans
    Baltimore, MD (November 10, 2015) – The Maryland Health Care Commission has released its “2015 Comprehensive Quality Report: Comparing the Performance of Maryland’s Commercial Health Benefit Plans” and an abridged consumer edition. These reports enable consumers and human resource managers to compare plans for open-enrollment periods.
    The consumer edition is designed to provide consumers with additional insight on the health plan products available in Maryland for individuals that want a quick review of plan performance. The two reports serve as sources of information for employers and consumers when choosing a health plan. An interactive version of the guide is available at Maryland Health Care Quality Reports.
    The 2015 reports show that most Maryland preferred provider organizations (PPOs) performed at or better than the national average during the review period, but the majority of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in Maryland performed below the national average. Five of the eight PPOs but only two of seven HMOs scored among the top 10 percent of plans nationally on the percentage of patients who rated their health benefit plan as good or better.
    “I’m encouraged that most Maryland commercial PPOs improved performance on quality measures and patient satisfaction this year. Declines in commercial HMOs’ quality performance and consumer satisfaction levels in 2015 are worrisome as these products are widely available through employer-sponsored health plans and in the individual insurance market. As information on the Guide becomes more accessible on the Internet, poor performance will have greater and more immediate adverse impact on health plans’ success in the market,” said Commission Executive Director Ben Steffen.
    The Commission continues to improve this Health Benefit Guide based on advice from consumers and employers. In addition to the information provided in the consumer edition, the report incorporates information on the clinical performance of health benefit plans, plus information from a new quality measurement instrument called The Maryland RELICCAssessment that measures health benefit plan activities designed to address health care disparities.
    Quality measures within the consumer edition focus on plan member experience and satisfaction with health care on topics such as: getting needed care; getting care quickly; how well doctors communicate, plan information on costs; rating of their personal doctor and their specialist(s); and rating of their health benefit plan. The information is presented to highlight how members feel about their health benefit plan experience and enable consumers to make informed decisions when choosing a health plan.
    Combining the quality and performance information into one “Comprehensive Quality Report” provides a more detailed picture of health benefit plans’ performance. Both reports can be found on the Commission’s website at http://mhcc.maryland.gov/mhcc/pages/apcd/apcd_quality/apcd_quality_hbp.aspx.
    For additional Information about the consumer edition, Quality Report 2015 or the Comprehensive Quality Report 2015, contact Theressa Lee, director of Quality Measurement and Reporting, at 410-764-3328 or theressa.lee@maryland.gov.
    About the Maryland Health Care Commission
    The Maryland Health Care Commission is a 15-member, independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access in a rapidly changing health care environment by providing timely and accurate information on availability, cost, and quality of services to policy makers, purchasers, providers and the public. The 15 Commissioners are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Maryland Senate. The Commission's vision for Maryland is to ensure that informed consumers hold the health care system accountable and have access to affordable and appropriate health care services through programs that serve as models for the nation.
    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the state government agency that protects Maryland’s public health and also works to help Marylanders make better health decisions for better health outcomes. Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH and www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH.