SACRAMENTO: MCOs Should Give Hotline a Second Chance
Managed health care organizations should "reconsider their initial coolness" to the Health Rights Hotline, which was created in July 1997 to provide free help to Sacramento HMO and PPO enrollees, a Sacramento Bee editorial asserts. Funded by the California Wellness Foundation, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Sierra Health Foundation, the hotline has handled 4,300 callers in its first 18 months, "didn't get in the way and actually accelerated the resolution of some problems," the editorial notes. However, according to a study in Health Affairs, "Virtually all of the health plans and most of the medical groups declined to promote the hotline because they wanted their enrollees/patients to use their internal customer service resources first." The study also revealed that those using the hotline had problems resolved within a month 66% of the time, compared to 59% for customers not using the hotline. Further, more than half of hotline clients "were happy with the resolution of their beef compared to less than a third of the others." The editorial concludes, "That's pretty solid evidence that the hotline was healthy for patients and doctors as well as the insurers" (1/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.