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California Health Agency Releases Consumer App

April 1, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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In California, the Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA) released an iPhone app that allows consumers to review the performance of different payers and medical groups on more than 40 clinical care measures. The app, as well as an accompanying website, allows California residents to review health coverage or medical groups, revealing the quality of care score for metrics such as immunizations, throat infections, and chronic conditions.

"Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Californians will soon be shopping for health coverage through the state's health benefit exchange, Covered California," Diana S. Dooley, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, said in a statement. "The Report Cards are a great resource for moms, dads, family caregivers, and people who strive to get healthier and make informed choices about their healthcare."

The California OPA also released several statistics on how health maintenance organizations (HMO), commercial preferred provider organizations (PPO), and medical groups performed on the quality care metrics overall. The HMO, PPO, and medical groups improved on (14 percent) the number of adolescents receiving immunizations, as well as the rate of childhood immunization rates (4 percent).

Also, quality of treatment for adults with chronic conditions improved for some important measures, but isn’t consistent among HMOs, PPOs, and medical groups. Care for chronic disease at HMOs ranged between two and four stars, for PPOs it was one and three stars, and it varied between one and four stars for medical groups.  

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