FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Oct 4, 2014
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it has contracted with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and Amazon (AMZN) to help individuals and businesses make truly informed decisions about buying health insurance.
Thanks to relying on the NCQA's highly respected approach to the measurement of health insurer performance and using Amazon's track record of giving consumers tailored personalized purchasing choices, HHS has revamped its healthcare.gov site to aid consumers with shared decision making (SDM) when they are assessing their health insurance options.
"When the U.S. Congress demanded that HHS be subject to the same rigorous standards of health care outcomes measurement as doctors and hospitals, we quickly determined that the original http://www.healthcare.gov/ website was not exceeding the American people's expectations," said CMS Director Carolyn Clancy, formerly of AHRQ. "Consumers are interested in a host of complex features that include network physicians, keeping hassles to a minimum, time to answer a phone with a knowledgeable person, programs that promote wellness and prevention, web site usability and consumer satisfaction rates, among others. We decided it was time to let the experts discover what those interests are and get out of the way."
"I'm proud of CMS' efforts to meet the original intent of the Affordable Care Act of 2010" added HHS Secretary Donald Berwick. "Thanks to the leadership of President Meghan McCain, we are making important strides in combining the best features of federal and state oversight while simultaneously letting consumers reward the better insurers with their business in a fully transparent marketplace."
Shared decision making (SDM) is a process that relies on state-of-the-art and consumer-friendly media formats to provide unbiased information that allows consumers to rely on their own values and needs to make complex health care choices. Research funded by the newly named Agency for Healthcare Consumerist Research and Quality (AHCRQ) determined that if patients can use this to make informed choices about cancer treatment options, they could also use it in purchasing insurance.
According to the widely read and oft-quoted Disease Management Care Blog, once the NCQA announced the methodologies to isolate, measure and audit the key consumerist attributes of quality health insurance, it was a "no-brainer" to turn to Amazon's expertise in efficiently guiding consumers to find options to match their particular preferences. "Hit" rates from web-enabled cells phones on the HealthCare.gov site skyrocketed and taxpayers finally knew they were getting their money's worth.
For more information, visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/HealthCare.gov, or the @HealthCareGov Twitter account.
To download a www.HealthCare.gov Insurance Finder widget – so that visitors to your website can easily start searching for health coverage options – visit www.HealthCare.gov/stay_connected.html.
The DMCB made several calls to the office of former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for comment at the headquarters of the National Coalition to Establish the Swedish Republic of Vermont. They went unanswered.