Health Care Research and Reports
The Office of the Patient Advocate funds and develops a variety of reports on current and important health care issues. This page also contains OPA’s annual reports about health care complaints in California.
Annual Health Care Complaint Data Reports
The Office of the Patient Advocate produces annual reports about health care complaints made by California consumers to the Department of Managed Health Care, Department of Health Care Services, California Department of Insurance, and Covered California. These reports also include information about state consumer assistance centers.
This third-year, multi-departmental report provides information on health care complaints resolved in 2016.
Released April 2018
This second-year, multi-departmental report provides information on health care complaints resolved in 2015.
Released January 2017
This baseline report is the first time in the state’s history that a multi-departmental report on health care complaint data has been issued.
Released May 2016
The following reports on quality improvement were developed by the Department of Managed Health Care’s Right Care Initiative (RCI), which focused on the care and prevention of strokes and heart attacks in patients with diabetes and heart disease. These publications analyzed data used in OPA’s 2014 health Care Quality Report Cards to show improvement in cardiovascular care between 2006 – 2012.
- Key Quality Indicators for Cardiovascular Prevention Among California Health Plans (2006-2012)
- Right Care Initiative Use of the California Health Care Quality Report Card
- Cardio-Protective Medication Bundle Protocol
- California Heart Attack, Stroke and Diabetes Care and Prevention – Publicly Available Data
Health Care Engagement
The purpose of this report was to investigate the intersection between health literacy and health plan efficiency. To accomplish this, Health Research for Action (HRA – UC Berkeley School of Public Health) conducted a literature review, analyzed health literacy data from the California Health Information Survey (CHIS), conducted 31 key informant interviews with health plan professionals and advocates, conducted 12 focus groups and 20 usability tests with health plan members, and convened and met with an advisory group. HRA made recommendations based on this research and feedback from the expert advisory group.
This report, produced by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research under contract to the California Office of the Patient Advocate, provides a pre-health care reform snapshot of health status and utilization characteristics of Californians who were either enrolled in commercial or public managed care plans or who were uninsured in 2007. Using the most recently available data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), this report provides a detailed profile of demographic characteristics, disease conditions, health status, health care use, and barriers to care among California residents. Among the findings are a high need for certain types of health care, such as mental health services, as well as a growing reliance on high-deductible health plans, especially among the low-income and self-employed.
OPA recently commissioned a random sample survey of 1,224 adult Californians enrolled in HMOs. Goals of the survey were to:
- Determine the kinds of information HMO enrollees would like to know about their health plan and how it works.
- Identify the sources of information that consumers trust and the sources of information they find most useful. Specifically, the survey sought to understand how consumer information needs vary by source of coverage (employer, Medicare, or Medi-Cal), demographics, and geography.
- Document the changes in consumer experiences since 1997, when a similar survey was conducted.
More than 1.3 million California HMO enrollees ages 18 to 64 do not speak English well enough to communicate with medical providers. This policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that health plan enrollees with limited English skills reported the poorest health and were more likely to have difficulty understanding their doctors, placing this already vulnerable population at even greater risk.