Kaiser scores high in quality measures

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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Kaiser Permanente Northwest was the nation's top performer on three quality measures and scored in the top 10 on numerous others, according to new data from the National Center for Quality Assurance.

Kaiser ranked No. 1 in the latest Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) for the following measures: counseling for nutrition for children, counseling for physical activity in children and annual monitoring for patients on persistent medications -- anticonvulsants.

More than 90 percent of U.S. health plans use HEDIS to measure important components of care and service.

"These measurements show that prevention, screening, and chronic disease management are top priorities. When that happens, patients stay healthier and we keep costs down," Ellie Godfrey, quality and service vice president for Kaiser, said in a news release.

Kasier also received top 10 rankings for the follownig measures: adult BMI assessment, cervical cancer screening, chlamydia screening in women -- total, appropriate treatment for children with URI, use of spirometry testing in assessment and diagnosis of COPD, comprehensive diabetes care -- LDL control <100, comprehensive diabetes care -- medical attention for nephropathy, DMART in rheumatoid arthritis, use of imaging studies for low back pain, and annual monitoring for patients on persistent medications -- digoxin.

The National Center for Quality Assurance recently released its overall health plan quality ratings, which named Kaiser the best commercial health plan in Oregon.