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Healthcare Report Card Assesses Hospital, HMO Quality

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The New York State Health Accountability Foundation is out with its first ever health care report card. It measures the quality and costs of the state's HMOs and hospitals.

For the past seven years, the Foundation had been presenting annual reports assessing the quality of the state's health maintenance organizations. Now, it's extending its assessment to hospitals and is including financial information on both.

The Foundation is a public-private partnership between IPRO -- a non-profit corporation that assesses healthcare services -- and the New York Business Group on Health, a coalition of employers. IPRO CEO Theodore Will says this year's report provides an even broader picture of the quality of health care delivery within the state.

According to the just released report card, the area's three HMOs -- Community Blue, Independent Health and Univera -- all score at or above the state average for member satisfaction. Community Blue was listed as the most expensive of the HMOs.

The report found that Kaleida Health hospitals collectively perform under the state average for overall heart attack care. And average patient charges were generally less at the Erie County Medical Center than they were at hospitals in the Kaleida and Catholic systems.