There are many ways to rank health plans. The Sachs Group, which thinks loyalty and satisfaction with member services tell a lot about a health plan, issued its third annual HMO Honor Roll, singling out plans for these attributes.
Sachs surveyed 97,000 consumers in 30 markets. Consumer loyalty, Sachs says, is important to a health plan's long- term viability. Sachs found that member services had the greatest influence on loyalty. Network access and medical management had less effect. The office-visit experience had no bearing on loyalty to an HMO.
For health plans, the findings are good news, because member services — claims handling, benefit explanation and so on --are areas HMOs can control. It also means members distinguish between loyalty to health plans and loyalty to physicians.
Those making the honor roll were tops in their markets in subscriber loyalty and satisfaction with member services.
Sachs Group's third annual HMO Honor Roll
|Boston||Harvard Pilgrim Health Care|
|Cincinnati||ChoiceCare Health Plans|
|Los Angeles||Kaiser Permanente-California|
|Miami||Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
Prudential HealthCare-South Florida
|New York||Physicians Health Services|
|San Diego||Kaiser Permanente-California|
|San Francisco||Kaiser Permanente-California|
|Tampa||Cigna HealthCare of Florida|
|SOURCE: SACHS GROUP, EVANSTON, ILL., 1998|