NCQA Releases State of Health Care Quality 2004:
Publicly-reporting plans post fifth straight year of gains; broader system still plagued by quality gaps
Annual toll: 42,000 - 79,000 avoidable deaths, 66.5 million sick days and $1.8 billion in excess medical costs
NCQA's recently released State of Health Care Quality 2004 finds that the quality of care delivered by health plans that publicly report on their performance improved markedly last year. Yet the U.S. health care system as a whole remains plagued by deadly “quality gaps” that contribute to 42,000 to 79,000 avoidable deaths every year. The findings suggest that the system is deeply polarized, delivering excellent care to some people, and generally poor care to many others. NCQA’s annual State of Health Care Quality report also found that nearly 66.5 million avoidable sick days and more than $1.8 billion in excess medical costs can be traced to the health care system’s routine failure to provide needed care.
Link To: National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA)