As hospitals accumulate more financial risk, the level of trust with insurers is key. However, hospital executives have little faith in health insurance companies, according to a 2014 ReviveHealth National Payer Survey.
The survey, which included responses from 203 hospital and health system leaders between Jan. 21 and March 5, examined if hospitals had agreeable relationships with their insurers. A low level of trust stems from many factors--the length of time it takes to get paid, narrow networks, changing provider contracts and tiering, the study found.
The survey asked three questions to determine hospitals' level of agreement with the following statements--this organization makes every effort to honor its commitments; this organization is accurate and honest in representing itself and its intentions; this organization balances its interests with ours and doesn't routinely take advantage of us.
The findings were dismal. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 the top score, payers scored an average of 53.2. For the statement "this organization balances its interests with ours and doesn't routinely take advantage of us," UnitedHealthcare came in dead last, scoring 36.4. It's 40.7 overall score was the lowest of any insurer.
What's more, when asked which insurer hospitals considered the least trustworthy, execs ranked UnitedHealth last once again.
Not all hope is lost. When asked which insurer is the most trustworthy, Blues plans ranked the highest, with 66 percent of hospital respondents saying it's the insurer they trust the most. Similarly, Cigna sat above the average score with 63.1.
"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 during last year's survey, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.
- here's the ReviveHealth study (.pdf)