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PPOs Rising: Report Finds PPOs Catching Up to HMOs on Quality Health Insurance Industry Improving Quality Over Long Term

NCQA State of Health Care Quality Report to be Released at October 13 Press Event  

Annual analysis from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) notes important facts about the overall quality of U.S. health care. The new State of Health Care Quality Report includes NCQA’s latest findings about the nation’s health care system, notably:  

  • PPO performance is catching up with HMO performance.
    For the first time in the 15-year history of this annual study, NCQA publicly compares HMOs with PPOs across all measures of care. HMOs were first to embrace quality improvement, but PPOs are gaining ground. 
  • Health plans’ performance has improved substantially over time. 
    Insurers’ commitment to measurement, transparency and accountability has made care better over long periods. 
  • Positive trends in heart-related care provide momentum for the CDC Million Hearts Campaign.
    Million Hearts, launched in September 2011, aims to prevent one million heart attacks in the next five years. NCQA's data show that this effort has a head start.            
  • Opportunities abound to get more value in health care.
    Value includes both quality and cost. With cost increasing at a ruinous rate, getting better value is essential to the nation's fiscal health. 

The State of Health Care Quality Report examined quality data from more than 1,000 health plans that collectively cover 118 million Americans, or two-fifths of the U.S. population. 


WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 9:00-11:00 a.m. ET  

Continental breakfast for all attendees will be available at 8:00. Briefing begins promptly at 9:00. 

WHERE: Barbara Jordan Center/Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

WHO: NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane will brief journalists on the report. Guest speakers will offer their perspectives on quality:  

  • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, President and CEO, CDPHP Health Plan
    CDPHP operates the nation's #5 Medicaid plan, #16 Medicare plan and #22 commercial plan, according to NCQA's latest quality rankings of 830 insurers. Among other topics, Dr. Bennett will address how insurers can be quality leaders.  
  • Peter Briss, MD, MPH,  Medical Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
    Dr. Briss’ insights on quality reflect the CDC’s singular role applying research and findings to improve people's lives and respond to health emergencies. 
  • Laurel Pickering, MPH, President and CEO, Northeast Business Group on Health
    Pickering is in an exceptional position to explain how businesses can purchase better care: businesses are the main buyers of health care, and the best care is historically in the Northeast.  
  • John Santa, MD, MPH, Director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center
    Quality comes down to consumers getting the right care, in the right amount, safely, at the right time—without impoverishing them. Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, overseen by Dr. Santa, has unique influence in commenting on how quality affects people.
To participate remotely: 

1. Connect here 

2. Locate the event: State of Health Care Quality 

3. Click JOIN 

4. The confirmation number/conference ID is 8432832 

5. If you have trouble connecting, call WebEx Technical Support at 866-229-3239, option 4 

6. Establish your phone connection by calling 888-656-7435 

7. Your host is Margaret O’Kane 

8. Print copies of the report will be available at the event; electronic copies will be available at 

To participate in person or by WebEx, please RSVP to Monica Carter at

Media Contacts

Matt Brock

Cindy Peña