NEWS BRIEFS

Survey finds HMO members happy

The most recent member satisfaction survey released by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in Sacramento, CA, found managed care members were as satisfied with their health plans as members in traditional fee-for-service preferred provider plans.

CalPERS, the nation’s second-largest public purchaser of employee health benefits, second only to the federal government, used the standard satisfaction survey developed by the Washington, DC-based National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Results of the survey include the following:

• 79% of managed care members were satisfied with their health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

• 79% of traditional fee-for-service members were satisfied with their health plans.

• 81% of HMO members say they would recommend their plan to their friends.

• 83% of fee-for-service members say they would recommend their plan to friends.

• 58% of HMO members were happy with the process of getting a referral to a specialist, compared with 73% of fee-for-service members.

CalPERS purchases health benefits for more than 1 million active and retired employees and their families at more than 1,000 state and local agencies throughout California. The survey was mailed to a random sample of 26,000 CalPERS health program members. There was a 48% response rate for the basic health plans and a 82% response rate for members of Medicare-related plans.