California's largest health plans are now immunizing more children and meeting other quality measures, but many patients report they are not able to get the care they need quickly and easily.
These are among the findings of the 12th annual report card released Wednesday by the state Office of the Patient Advocate.
The report is designed to enable consumers to compare the quality of care delivered by the state's 10 largest commercial health maintenance organizations, six largest preferred provider organizations and 209 medical groups.
The findings can be viewed at www.opa.ca.gov. This year for the first time, a mobile app is also available for iPhone and iPad. It can be downloaded from the state website or through iTunes.
Organizations are ranked with one to four stars depending on how well they meet 40 quality measures.
As in previous years, Kaiser Permanente outshone its competitors. It was the only health plan in the state to receive the top ranking of four stars for providing the recommended care in most instances.
But when patients rated how easily they can get care, no HMOs, including Kaiser, received more than two stars -- a fair ranking -- revealing, state health leaders said, an area where improvement is needed. Among the PPOs, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield received the highest marks in this category -- three stars.
The patient advocates office hopes consumers will use the information to choose a health plan and in discussions with their care providers.
Sandy Kleffman covers health. Contact her at 510-293-2478. Follow her at Twitter.com/skleffman.
To view the state Office of the Patient Advocate's 2013 report card on HMOs, PPOs and medical groups, go to www.opa.ca.gov or call 888-466-2219.
A mobile app is also available for iPhone and iPad. It can be downloaded at www.opa.ca.gov or through iTunes.