Kaiser's HMO the best, Aetna's the worst in California health plan report card

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In newly released rankings, Kaiser Permanente's HMO plans outranked seven other California insurers when it comes to quality care--though Aetna's HMO did not do as well.

California’s Office of the Patient Advocate released a report card ranking the state’s best and worst health plans based on quality care and patient satisfaction. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Kaiser Permanente's HMO plans in Northern and Southern California each received the maximum four-star rating, indicating the plans’ quality performance metrics were comparable to the top 90 percent of health plans across the country.
  • The majority of the remaining plans received three stars, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, Health Net of California, Sharp Health Plan and Western Health Advantage.
  • Aetna Health of California was the only HMO plan to receive one star.
  • Compared to the rest of the country, most California plans performed better than average for diabetes care, mental health and pediatric care.
  • Seven of the 10 HMO plans received three-stars when it came to patient experience, but none of the plans received four stars. All but two HMO plans received a one-star rating for easy access to care.
  • All five of the state’s PPO plans received a two-star rating for quality care.

Aetna spokesman Walt Cherniak told California Healthline that the company is disappointed its ranking was lower this year. “Aetna is committed to working more closely with physician groups to promote mutual data sharing, regular scorecard reviews and focused action plans to close quality gaps in care,” he said.

The report card also ranked more than 200 medial groups based on quality care metrics, patient satisfaction and cost.

California's Affordable Care Act exchange, Covered California, has been one of the more successful, and previous reports show access to care has improved within the state thanks to the ACA. The state also recently introduced a dashboard that it hopes will improve access to data concerning health plan enrollment and healthcare quality and costs.