Friday, August 24, 2012

Hospitals Name Their Least Favorite Insurers

Kaiser Health News recently reported the results of a survey in which ReviveHealth, a hospital public relations firm in Santa Barbara, Calif., asked hospitals to name the most problematic insurance companies.

The article can be found here, and the full report can be viewed here.

NAHAM News wonders what problems or differences, if any, among insurers  you see from a data capture and patient access perspective?

Some companies, such as Cigna, have praised the survey. Spokesman Joe Mondy told Kaiser Health News that they “view data from this and other ‘report cards’ (athenahealth, AMA) as very useful in identifying opportunities to improve and gaug[e] the impact of past improvement initiatives.”

Cigna was No. 1 in overall favorability while Aetna scored best in the dealing with hospitals category.

Other companies blasted the survey. Dr. Allan Korn of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, whose plans ranked worst in hospital payment rates for the second year in a row, wanted to remind readers that “Revive is a PR firm that represents medical providers in payment negotiations with insurers and often creates a contentious public and media atmosphere around these talks…This survey is merely another tactic aimed [at] boosting payments for Revive’s clients without regard to the impact this has on millions of Americans who want and deserve affordable health care.”

Overall, the survey reported that WellPoint, a regional insurer, ranked last in overall favorability and in the “dealing with hospitals” category.

“We believe the Revive survey is inherently flawed and without merit,” said WellPoint spokeswoman Jill Becher. “We have a long history of working with providers to improve the accessibility, affordability and effectiveness of quality health care.”

Rising from the basement in previous surveys was United Healthcare, the country’s biggest private health insurer.  United scored sixth out of seven in the dealing with hospitals category, and fifth out of seven in overall favorability.

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