Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Survey Reveals Best and Worst Health Insurance Companies.

Small Business Resources, Business Advice and Forms from AllBusiness.com

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- DAVIES, one of the largest public affairs agencies in the country, today released the results of its third annual National Payor Survey of hospital executives. The survey measured hospital executives' perceptions of the nation's largest health insurance companies. It was coupled with the first National Payor Survey of employers, a new survey that targeted individuals responsible for selecting health plan coverage for employers of all sizes.

The only survey of its kind in the country, the National Payor Survey of health plan reputation targeted hospital leaders who negotiate contracts with major health insurance companies - hospital CEOs, CFOs and directors of managed care. Total responses represented more than 18% of the hospitals in the country, which is an increase of 78% from the 2007 survey.

Although health plans are rated poorly in a variety of other surveys - including JD Powers and Harris Poll - the DAVIES survey revealed two outliers in the health insurance community. For the first time, hospitals identified a preferred business partner in Aetna. And for the third straight year, UnitedHealthcare stood out dramatically as a bad actor in its ratings.

Aetna as Preferred Partner

For the first time, the survey revealed a preferred partner for hospitals and physicians. Aetna received a 64% favorable rating (compared to a 34% unfavorable rating), which was 9% better than CIGNA, the second-best rated plan and a full 48% better than the worst rated plan, UnitedHealthcare. The survey reveals a strong preference from hospitals based on trust, honesty, business practices and good faith negotiations.

"Aetna is clearly the preferred health insurance partner for hospitals and health systems across the United States," said Brandon Edwards, President/COO of DAVIES. "When you combine this survey data with recent publicly traded health plan earnings announcements, it's clear that provider trust and satisfaction are leading indicators of organic membership growth. This bodes well for Aetna, and perhaps CIGNA, as they look at 2009 commercial enrollment retention, as well as 2010 commercial enrollment growth."
UnitedHealthcare as a Negative Outlier
The survey revealed that 82% of respondents indicated an unfavorable opinion of UnitedHealthcare, which is actually an 8% improvement for them over last year. This contrasts with an average unfavorable rating of 34% among all other insurance companies in the survey.

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