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Few employers review health plan quality. Why should they?

Posted Sep 07 2010 5:25pm

Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog reports some findings from a Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust  survey:

Just 34% of firms employing at least 200 people and 5% of firms employing between 3 and 199 people reported reviewing performance indicators of plans’ clinical and service quality.

I can think of a few reasons:

  • Coverage is so costly that the decision is really mainly about what’s affordable and palatable. More emphasis is given to total cost and how to split the cost with employees than to plan quality
  • The plan quality measures are not that well developed or clearly reported
  • Differences among plans are fairly modest and not necessarily captured by the measures
  • There is a bigger interest in provider quality than plan quality
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