DHHS Releases Health Plan Performance Report

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Medicaid Business and Policy (OMBP) is releasing a comprehensive report on information from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures. HEDIS measurement results are for employers and consumers to use in reviewing the performance and quality of their health plans and their health provider networks.

This report is part of OMBP's Comprehensive Health Care Information System (CHIS) project. The report uses 62 separate performance and utilization measures for New Hampshire and compares those against benchmarks for the nation, the New England region, and the Maine and Vermont region. The measures are organized into six health topic areas: Childhood and Adolescent Health Care, Adult Effectiveness of Care, Care for Chronic Illnesses, Maternity and Newborn Care, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Health Care, and Health Plan Satisfaction.

"This report provides a window into the overall quality of private health plans in the state," said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. "It shows New Hampshire residents, like their neighbors around New England are generally getting good care that they're satisfied with. However, certain measures do show room for improvement."

The report is a follow up to one released in 2006. As in the earlier report, New Hampshire continues to demonstrate favorable results, exceeding 2007 national benchmarks for 43 out of 48 quality performance measures. Of the 43 measures that exceeded 2007 national benchmarks, 41 of them were significantly above average.

Other results indicated in the report show most New Hampshire residents were satisfied with their health plan. They rated their physicians highly in overall care, access to immediate care, ease in scheduling appointments, and communication. Opportunities for improvement exist in the areas of education by physicians about preventing illness, counseling on smoking cessation and written communications from health plans to members.

"By understanding the experiences of patients in the privately insured population we are better able to assess the New Hampshire Medicaid population on similar measures," said DHHS Medicaid Director Kathleen Dunn. "The information can then be used to inform decision making by state policy makers including the legislature." To see the study, visit the DHHS website:http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/DHHS/OMBP/LIBRARY