Health class was most likely your first lesson in preventing and treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Back then, it seemed like a far-fetched idea that this information would be so valuable, especially in younger years. But times are changing. According to the CDC, there was a total of 110,197,000 new and existing sexually transmitted infections in a 2008 survey and young Americans ages 15-24 accounted for 50% of the total. This STD Awareness Month, it’s a wonder why we aren’t paying more attention to these staggering statistics.
We also learned from the CDC’s 2008 survey that young women made up more than half of the total population affected by STIs. Why are young women affected more than young men? Causes often lead back to risk factors like insufficient screening and increased likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. So, at NCQA we measure the rates at which women are being tested through our HEDIS measure Chlamydia Screening in Women.
Health Plans Raising the Bar
But, we think it’s important to recognize the health plans who exceed in our chlamydia screening measure and have the highest rating a health plan can receive overall. Here is a list of the plans that scored a 5 in Chlamydia Screening in Women and a 5 in health plan ratings overall:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue, Inc.
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. – Northern California
- Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.
- Tufts Benefit Administrators, Inc.
Since the first step in treatment is initially screening patients for sexual infections, it’s vital that physicians are testing their patients for STDs/STIs in a timely manner. This ensures that patients are receiving the quality care for their sexual health that they deserve. It’s important that we keep a check on how health plans and providers are shaping up in specific measures, like chlamydia screening so you can know too. How does your health plan rate? Find out here.
Colleen is a student studying journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Currently, she is a Communications Intern at NCQA. She is working closely with the Communications and Marketing team on content production.