Hospital Executives Give Health Insurers Poor Ratings in New Survey
In a survey of hospital executives to be released today, three of the country's five largest insurers received higher negative approval ratings than positive ones, the Los Angeles Times reports.
UnitedHealth Group, PacifiCare's parent company, received the worst ratings, with 91% of hospital executives giving it an unfavorable rating and just 8% giving it a favorable rating. Meanwhile, WellPoint, which owns Blue Cross of California, received an unfavorable rating from 48% of respondents and a favorable rating from 20% of respondents.
Cigna rounded out the bottom three, with an unfavorable rating from 47% of respondents and a favorable rating from 44%.
Aetna received the best score with 57% favorable and 37% unfavorable.
Davies Public Affairs, a Santa Barbara company that represents some hospitals, commissioned the survey of 113 executives representing more than 500 hospitals.
UnitedHealth challenged the survey's findings and methodology, with spokesperson Tyler Mason saying that "UnitedHealthcare ranks above the industry regarding claims payments."
A WellPoint spokesperson said the insurer was reviewing the survey and noted that it conducts its own surveys to gauge hospital executives' opinions.
Jan Emerson, a spokesperson for the California Hospital Association, said the survey confirmed "what we are hearing from a lot of our member hospitals about health plans that operate in California, particularly the two largest ones, United and WellPoint" (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 3/6).