Friday, March 30, 2007

Partnership HealthPlan Second Best in State

Partnership HealthPlan Second Best in State
By Andrea E. Garcia

FAIRFIELD - Efforts to provide quality care for MediCal recipients lifted Partnership HealthPlan of California to a second-place ranking among health plans across the state.

The California Department of Health Services recognized Partnership HealthPlan for outstanding performance on numerous quality of care measures including childhood immunization status, comprehensive diabetes care and treatment for children with upper respiratory infections.

More than 25 health plans in California were reviewed for the year 2006, focusing solely on MediCal recipients.

"We are very pleased to get this award and we're grateful to the leadership of Partnership HealthPlan for providing resources that give us quality scores," said Dr. Chris Cammisa, the HealthPlan's medical director.

PHP, which was compared with large commercial health plans in California such as Blue Cross, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente, placed at or above the high performance level in six measures. None of the nine measures evaluated fell below the state's minimum performance level.

"This is a good feeling, an acknowledgment of work and it shows what providers have done," said Liz Gibboney, marketing director for Partnership HealthPlan. "Any time you can recognize providers for what they do is a good thing. And I think we do a lot with limited resources."

The plan, which manages the care of more than 85,000 MediCal recipients in Solano, Napa and Yolo Counties, has continued to improve its measurement rates since its first audit in 1999.

It's a result in the number of quality improvement projects, systems of rewarding their physicians and providing information and reports to physicians. But, added Cammisa, there is still a long way to go.

"Compared to other plans across the state we did very good but I think our job, by no means, is finished," Cammisa said. "If you look at the evidence nationally on whether patients are getting services, it's 55 percent and we're a little better, but we have lots of work to do, just as other health plans."

The Partnership HealthPlan of California also manages the care of 2,500 recipients of Healthy Kids and 1,100 Medicare beneficiaries.

Reach Andrea E. Garcia at 427-6953 or

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