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press

Three Washington Health Plans Ranked Best in the Nation

FOR RELEASE: August 23, 2021

Contact: Karen Johnson
Phone: (816) 309-6472
Email: kjohnson@wahealthalliance.org

THREE WASHINGTON HEALTH PLANS RANKED BEST IN THE NATION
The Washington Health Alliance releases its latest eValue8™ results.

SEATTLE, WA. Today, the Washington Health Alliance (Alliance) issued its most recent report using the eValue8™ process, an evidence-based tool that allows health care purchasers to assess health plan performance. The Alliance worked with a significant number of its purchaser and health plan members to conduct eValue8™, to understand how well health plans are addressing some of health care’s toughest challenges. Many Alliance members supported the evaluation process:

Association of Washington Cities Puget Sound Energy
Bloodworks Northwest Seattle Chamber of Commerce
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation SEIU 775 Health Benefits Trust
City of Kirkland Sound Health & Wellness Trust
City of Seattle Sound Transit
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Starbucks Coffee Company
King County The Boeing Company
Pacific Health Coalition Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Point B Washington State Health Care Authority
Port of Seattle Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust

 

All commercial health plans operating in Washington state were invited to participate. Director of Performance Improvement and Innovation Karen Johnson says, “The Alliance and its members are extremely grateful to Aetna, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente Washington HMO and PPO, Premera Blue Cross, and Regence BlueShield who agreed to participate. It’s a huge undertaking to not only complete the extensive survey, but to review and discuss results with the purchasers.”

Using a request for information (RFI) process and extensive questionnaire, health plans provided data and detailed responses to help purchasers understand how well they are doing in areas such as network management and contracting, helping members manage chronic conditions, and providing tools and resources that help members make informed decisions and navigate the complex health care landscape.

Purchasers received detailed results for each of the participating health plans that serves as a valuable resource for individual purchasers use. The report the Alliance makes publicly available provides a high-level overview of the health plan scores, overall and for each of the specific modules covered in the eValue8™ RFI. Readers of this public report will understand how health plans perform relative to each other and to the maximum points available overall and for each module. As is the case in many years, Washington state plans were recognized for having the best performance in the nation overall and for a number of the modules. For the 2020 edition, three were recognized for their top scores.

  • Kaiser Permanente Washington HMO was best overall, for chronic condition management, as well as for helping members manage acute/episodic conditions.
  • Kaiser Permanente Washington PPO was best for provider measurement and management.
  • Regence BlueShield for medical benefit drug management.

After receiving detailed results for each of the participating health plans, the purchasers identified five priority areas for discussion with the plans’ senior leaders.

  • Addressing health inequities and social determinants of health.
  • Strengthening access to and impact of primary care.
  • Improving behavioral health access, including integration with primary care.
  • Sustaining virtual and telehealth advances made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Addressing the rising cost of medications with a focus on medical benefit coverage.

Alliance Executive Director Nancy Giunto says, “The involvement of Washington state purchasers and health plans shows the shared deep commitment to making health care in Washington the best that it can be. Without the willingness of these organizations to commit the resources required for this kind of extensive evaluation process, we would not be able to share these in-depth insights into health plan quality with those who are making critical decisions about the health insurance they offer across the state.”

The public report released today contains the scoring methodology, an overview of health plan scores, and summaries of the discussions between the purchasers and health plans. The eValue8™ process was originally created by business coalitions and employers such as US Bank, General Motors, and Marriott International, to define, measure and evaluate health plan performance. The process is facilitated by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions and informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and other leading health care organizations.

About the Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance (Alliance) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan organization working collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together more than 185 committed member organizations to improve health and health care by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by health plans, employers, union trusts, hospitals and hospital systems, health care professionals, start-up companies, consultants, consumers, and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on health care quality, value, pricing, and overall spending. The Alliance publishes its reports at WACommunityCheckup.org and provides guidance for consumers at OwnYourHealthWA.org so that individuals can make informed health care decisions.