Cigna and independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are considered the most favorable insurers among hospital and health system leaders, while WellPoint and UnitedHealthcare, on the other hand, are ranked the worst insurers to do business with, according to new survey of hospital leaders.
The ReviveHealth survey, which involved 373 hospital and health system executives, also concluded that hospitals' perceptions of insurers aren't related to payment rates. For example, independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans earned a 30 percent rating for overall best insurer to deal with--even though hospitals also ranked them as having the lowest payment rates.
"The trust factor is huge when it comes to hospitals and health plans being able to play nice in the new world order of risk-sharing and improved health outcomes," ReviveHealth CEO Brandon Edwards said in a statement.
By comparison, WellPoint's overall favorability rating was only 16 percent. "Even though WellPoint now has a CEO with a strong provider background, he's got to turn an aircraft carrier, and that takes time," Edwards said. "Their major imperative has to be improving their reputation and rebuilding trust with providers."
And UnitedHealthcare ranked worst to deal with, continuing its reputation of one of the slowest paying insurers. ReviveHealth also noted that hospitals consistently report UnitedHealthcare's low rates, bureaucracy and lack of honesty as explanations for its poor ranking.
But UnitedHealthcare disagreed with the survey findings, saying the it "misrepresents the positive relationships" it has with most hospitals. "Productive, collaborative relationships between hospitals and payors are important if we are going to make progress together in modernizing our nation's healthcare system, and UnitedHealthcare has taken a number of steps to improve how it works with healthcare providers," Tyler Mason, vice president of communications for UnitedHealthcare, told PR Week.