CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY: HMOs Bring Up the Rear in Poll
When asked to rate 11 high-profile industries based on service to consumers, American adults rank the health insurance, managed care and tobacco industries at the very bottom, according to a new Harris poll. In fact, these three were the only industries that received more bad ratings than good. Only 31% of respondents said tobacco companies do a good job serving consumers, compared to 64% who said they do a bad job. Managed care did not fare much better thanks to a "battering from the media," 34% good to 55% bad. Health insurance companies, "somewhat synonymous with managed care," received 41% good ratings to 53% bad. Pharmaceutical companies ranked in the middle of the pack, with 66% of respondents saying they did a good job for consumers and 30% ranking them as bad. Consistent with a trend across all 11 industries, consumers gave health care concerns lower "good" ratings than they did two years ago. Drug companies were down 13%, health insurance companies fell 14% and managed care 17%.
'Do The Right Thing'
A companion question asked people to say whether they would trust a company in each industry "to do the right thing" if they "had a serious safety problem with one of their products or services." Here, hospitals received the highest scores of any industry, at 70% positive. Other health-related industries were as follows: pharmaceuticals, 57%; health insurance, 47%; managed care, 37%. Only 21% thought tobacco companies would do the right thing. The Harris poll of 1,006 adults was conducted Apr. 8-13. Its margin of error is +/- 3% (Harris release, 4/27).