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Stealth data? Plans’ ratings posted

2/12/2009 © Florida Health News

A state report that rates health plans participating in Medicaid Reform on a wide range of performance measures has been quietly posted at a Web site maintained by the Agency for Health Care Administration. It isn't clear when the posting occurred or how many health analysts -- let alone Medicaid patients -- have seen it.
Because of the format, the “ratings tell us almost nothing,” according to an analysis of the report sent out today by Florida CHAIN, an activist group that has been opposed to the Reform experiment. “This is the least informative rating system possible..,” the group said.

 AHCA’s failure to publicize the report or make it easy to use shows “the state isn’t making a serious effort to fulfill Reform’s promises of transparency and consumer empowerment,” a CHAIN press release said.
Florida Health News was unable to get an answer from AHCA this morning, and an attempt to get the industry’s view also failed. Michael Garner, president and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans, said he hadn’t seen the report.
The CHAIN analysis, performed by policy director Greg Mellowe, concluded that in some cases a plan’s poor performance in a category is masked because the range considered “average” is so broad. The data cover the year 2007.