What Was Measured?

What percentage of children in the HMO, ages 3 months to 18 years, who had an upper respiratory infection (common cold) were not given an antibiotic — medicines that don’t work for these viral infections?

These results are based on HMO patient administrative records.

Why Is It Important?

If your child has a cold, he or she probably does not need an antibiotic. Colds are viruses, and antibiotics do not work for viral infections. Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. Each year, about 1 out of 5 children wrongly receives antibiotics for a cold. Taking antibiotics when they are not necessary puts your child at risk for the medicine’s side effects. Also, if your child uses antibiotics too often, they can be less effective for treating infections in the future.

Compare California Scores to National Results

Click here to compare these California health plan scores to the top health plans nationwide.

Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections 2012 Edition

Look for differences of at least 4%. Smaller differences usually are not significant.

Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections

We compared HMO members' records in 2010 to a set of national standards for quality of care.
  • (Worse)
  • (Better)
Kaiser Permanente - Southern California 98%
Horizontal bar, 98 units
Horizontal bar, 98 units
Kaiser Permanente - Northern California 97%
Horizontal bar, 97 units
Horizontal bar, 97 units
Western Health Advantage 91%
Horizontal bar, 91 units
Horizontal bar, 90 units
Anthem Blue Cross - HMO 90%
Horizontal bar, 90 units
UnitedHealthcare of California (formerly PacifiCare) 90%
Horizontal bar, 90 units
Health Net of California, Inc. 89%
Horizontal bar, 89 units
Blue Shield of California - HMO 87%
Horizontal bar, 87 units
Aetna Health of California, Inc. 86%
Horizontal bar, 86 units
Score for top health plans nationwide 93%*