Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Region has become one of the few health plans to compile and make public its HEDIS 2.0 information.
Kaiser released some of that information last week.
The Health Plan Employer and Data Information Set, a set of performance measurements, began as an effort in 1989 by an organization of HMOs, including Kaiser, and several major employers. The National Committee for Quality Assurance took over development of HEDIS, and the final document was released in November 1991.
Organizers of the HEDIS project wanted to provide employers with standardized data from health plans so they could be compared and evaluated.
Through the NCQA, 20 health plans are participating in a national pilot "report card" project that will provide comparable data based on HEDIS 2.0 measurements.
Kaiser has already sent its HEDIS information to Xerox Corp. and GTE Corp. at their request. It will send the information to all its purchasers, said Joel Hyatt, M.D., assistant associate medical director at Kaiser in Pasadena.
Kaiser's information includes both data and explanations of their relevance. "This type of explanation is not required, but the NCQA encourages purchasers not just to look at the data as an end-all but to use (them) as the basis for a dialogue," he said.
For example, Kaiser's HEDIS report says its Pap smear screening rate in adult women enrolled in the plan for three years is 75%. The report goes on to explain that the U.S. Public Health Service goal is 85% by the year 2000 and that Kaiser is improving its computerized tracking and scheduling system to increase its screening rate.
Other health plans will soon release their HEDIS information, Dr. Hyatt said. The California pension system and the Bay Area Business Group on Health are requiring health plans they contract with to provide HEDIS information by next year, he said.