PPO Health Care ‘Report Cards’ Announced Today Must Provide Meaningful Evaluation of Quality and Cost, Unlike Current HMO ‘Dining Guide’

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Santa Monica, CA — The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said that the new PPO health insurance report cards announced today by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner should not be modeled after HMO report cards which read “more like a dining guide than a report card … awarding ‘stars’ instead of exposing deficiencies.”

FTCR has criticized the HMO report cards for failing to provide meaningful information on quality and failing to address cost. Click here to view FTCR’s critique of the state’s HMO report cards.

“We’re glad that the Insurance Commissioner agrees that PPOs and health insurance companies need more oversight. This is an opportunity to give patients meaningful information about both preventive and acute care with specific examples and without pulling punches,” said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR.

FTCR expressed concern that executives from the state’s largest health insurance companies were slated to join Commissioner Poizner in today’s announcement but no independent patient advocates would be present.

The existing one-page HMO analysis by the state’s Office of Patient Advocate rates HMOs on meaningless conditions and awards every HMO a ‘star.’ “Instead of receiving stars, HMOs, PPOs and health insurers should receive bad grades corresponding to specific areas where they fail to uphold standards of patient care,” said Flanagan.

FTCR said that unlike the HMO report cards which rely on information collected by the National Committee on Quality Assurance — a private organization that was founded and is largely funded by the health insurance industry — the new report cards must rely on independently collected information from an unbiased government agency. The Department of Insurance must not rely on information collected by a private entity that already provides voluntary accreditations for its HMO clients.

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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a leading nonprofit and nonpartisan consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us on the web at:

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Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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