CALPERS: Releases Patient Satisfaction Survey
The California Public Employees Retirement System, the state's largest public purchaser of employee health benefits, yesterday released its annual patient satisfaction survey. According to the survey, 81% of CalPERS HMO members say they would recommend their plan to their friends, as would 83% of PPO members. And six of the 10 CalPERS Medicare HMOs and seven of the 10 non-Medicare HMOs showed a higher level of satisfaction among patients with five or more visits to a physician in the past year than among those requiring less care. "These results are reassuring," said Kurato Shimada, chair of the CalPERS Health Benefits Committee, adding, "They indicate that our members who need the most medical care appear on average to be just as satisfied with the care they receive from our HMOs as those requiring less care." But in the area of access to specialists, HMO members reported lower rates of satisfaction that PPO members. While 73% of fee- for-service PPO members expressed satisfaction at getting referrals to a specialist, only 58% of HMO members said the same. The survey was mailed to 26,000 CalPERS members, and had a response rate of 48%. The National Committee for Quality Assurance standard satisfaction survey was used, with the California Cooperative Healthcare Reporting Initiative (CCHRI) coordinating the sampling. The Center for the Study of Services processed the results. CalPERS website can be accessed at www.calpers.ca.gov (CalPERS release, 9/15).
Too Much Info?
Overall, about 81% of Californians are satisfied with their health plan, according to results released yesterday by the CCHRI in its fifth annual study of health plan performance. The AP/Contra Costa Times reports that Health Plan of the Redwoods fared the best in member satisfaction, pulling in a 87% "favorable score." Lifeguard followed with 86%, Aetna U.S. Healthcare in San Diego and National Health Plans both had 85%. "We're providing a couple kinds of information ... for people to use and to incorporate with other kinds of information about health plans," said Lisa Mangiante. The AP/Times reports that the "report card" asked patients how they felt about their doctors, their access to specialists and grievance processes (Curtis, 9/16). Click here for CHL coverage of the Pacific Business Group on Health's release of the CCHRI information.