Improving Women's Quality of Care for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

The Feasibility and Desirability of Stratified Reporting of Objective Performance Measures

Published in: Women's Health Issues, v. 13, no. 4, July/Aug. 2003, p. 150-157

by Chloe E. Bird, Allen Fremont, Steven L. Wickstrom, Arlene S. Bierman, Elizabeth A. McGlynn

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Despite growing recognition of significant morbidity and mortality among women from cardiovascular disease, management of primary and secondary cardiac risk factors continues to be suboptimal for many women. Although there is also a good deal of room to improve the care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in men, existing gender differences in performance suggest much can be gained by specifically assessing and monitoring quality of care for these conditions in women. In this paper the authors describe recent work showing gender differences in quality of ambulatory care in managed care plans, with some plans having substantial gender differences on widely used measures of the quality of primary and secondary prevention of cardiac disease. They then discuss potential benefits of and barriers to routine reporting of objective measures of the quality of care, such as HEDIS measures, by health plans.

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