When the Pacific Business Group on Health contracts with health plans, it places 2 percent of the premium at risk to promote cooperation between plans and providers. If a plan meets specified targets for "partnering," as PBGH calls it, the plan keeps the portion of the premium at risk. How well do plans meet that goal? According to a PBGH survey of medical groups and independent practice associations in four states, HMOs' relationships with physicians are improving, but there is still a need for closer collaboration.
Physicians were asked to rate the following health plans: In Arizona, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna Network Model, HealthPartners, Humana, Intergroup, PacifiCare and United HealthCare; in California, Aetna, Blue Cross CaliforniaCare, Blue Shield, Care America, Cigna, FHP, Foundation, Health Net, PacifiCare and Prudential; in Oregon, HMO Oregon, Providence Good Health Plan, SelectCare, QualMed and PacifiCare; in Washington, Health Plus, First Choice, Providence Good Health Plan, Group Health Northwest, QualMed and PacifiCare. Kaiser Permanente, with its single physician group, was not part of the survey.
SOURCE: PACIFIC BUSINESS GROUP ON HEALTH, SAN FRANCISCO, 1998