Advocates Urge Quality Oversight of Exchanges

Leading consumer advocates are arguing that the federal government will need to take an aggressive approach to regulating new health plan quality performance requirements included in the Affordable Care Act. Writing online in the February 29 Health Affairs Blog, Consumers’ CHECKBOOK Executive Robert Krughoff and colleagues assert that the government must issue regulations requiring “comparable, meaningful, verified information across all plans,” offered by state-based Exchanges under health reform. The authors note that the health reform law mandates that Exchange plans be profiled based on enrollee satisfaction, accreditation status, quality reporting, case management, care coordination, management of chronic disease and initiatives designed to improve medication and care compliance on the part of consumers. Authors recommend highlighting physicians and group practices recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s “Patient Centered Medical Homes” initiative as well as Bridges to Excellence. They urge that as Medicare’s Physician Compare tool expands as a quality information resource, “plan comparison tools should include information…for every doctor affiliated with every plan.” For more on Helping Consumers Choose Health Plans in Exchanges: Best Practice Recommendations, which was posted online February 29, visit http://healthaffairs.org/blog.