Fifty-seven health plans, including several operated by Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, have agreed to participate in a new survey by the National Committee for Quality Assurance to gauge the quality of wellness and disease-management programs.
The Care Management and Health Improvement survey is based on new standards to assess how effectively health plans engage members in prevention programs, use information to identify and help members with chronic or complex conditions, and measure outcomes, such as reduced hospitalizations. The survey is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, with initial results released in the first half of 2006.
The new standards are the second set released by the NCQA as part of its Quality Plus program, which lets accredited health plans gain additional distinctions in specific areas by meeting tough new standards before they become mandatory. The first set of standards, called Member Connections and published in January, measures how well health plans use their Web sites to provide members with health, pharmacy and claims information.