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Washington Health Alliance Releases Comprehensive Analysis of Health Plans

Media Contact: Leslie Bennett
206.454.2961
lbennett@wahealthalliance.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2019 

Washington Health Alliance Releases
Comprehensive Analysis of Health Plans

 Alliance and employers partner to find the highest quality and issue findings

 SEATTLE, March 19, 2019. Today, the Washington Health Alliance (Alliance) issued a report on the top performing health plans in Washington state. The Alliance worked with 18 employers and union trusts, including The Boeing Company, Starbucks Coffee Company, Puget Sound Energy, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Washington state, to conduct the analysis to shed light on how well health plans are meeting the needs of their members and working to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care.

The employers sponsored the use of eValue8TM, a tool available through the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, that has been used by the Alliance since 2008 and in cities and states across the country. Using eValue8, a nationally standardized Request for Information (RFI), health plans answer comprehensive questions about how they control health care costs, reduce and eliminate waste, ensure patient safety, close gaps in care, improve patient health, manage pharmaceuticals, as well as other topics. The results are then compared locally as well as against the top health plan performers in the country.

Aetna, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente HMO, Kaiser Permanente PPO (often called Options), Regence Blue Shield, and UnitedHealthcare all responded to the eValue8 RFI. At the end of the process, the health plans met in-person with the employers and union trusts to discuss the findings. “These health plans devote a significant amount of resources to preparing a thorough response and it shows,” commented Alliance Deputy Director Susie Dade. “With this report, we have robust results that allow us to compare health plans and more easily track what is going on with health care quality and customer service from the perspective of the health plans.” This year, Kaiser Permanente HMO was the top-rated performer with top scores in four out of seven categories. Premera Blue Cross has declined to participate in eValue8 since 2010.

The report identifies several areas of opportunity for improvement for health plans, including improving outreach efforts to individual to improve health, more rapidly adopting value-based payments to providers rather than fee-for-service, and reducing unnecessary overuse and potentially avoidable care.

About the Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. Bringing together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system, the Alliance offers a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts with purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers, and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations.