Survey: Trust in health insurance plans dips to all-time low
The 11th annual ReviveHealth Trust Index found that Americans don’t trust the healthcare industry and especially distrust health insurance plans. Two-thirds of respondents said they would prefer “Medicare for all” over the current healthcare system.
ReviveHealth said factors leading to payer mistrust include the hassle of working with payers and the “lack of progress toward new models of payment and care.”
Consumers trust physicians and hospitals more than health plans with many respondents saying their healthcare coverage is worse than before.
The mistrust within the industry goes well beyond age, education, politics and socio-economics, said Brandon Edwards, CEO of ReviveHealth. The survey of consumers, practicing physicians, hospital and health system executives and health insurance executives found that health system executives and health plan executives don’t trust one another. Payers received a collective failing grade in the Trust Index, which the survey attributed to “aggressive negotiation tactics, increased market share and narrow networks and administrative inefficiencies.”
Health plan executives also spoke pessimistically in the survey. More than 38% of health plan executives said contract negotiations with provider organizations have gotten harder over the past year.
One issue that’s causing the mistrust is the “lack of progress toward new models of payment and care.” Payers are increasingly moving from volume-based to value-based contracts, which requires providers to accept financial risk, bundled payments and alternative payment models, but the survey said change isn't happening fast enough. That's exacerbating trust issues within the industry.
One possible way to reverse the mistrust trend is more payer-provider partnerships. That's been happening in the industry as payers and providers have joined forces to create value-based contracts and population health management initiatives. An example is Aetna and Banner Health's joint venture, Banner | Health. The partnership is hoping to improve consumer experience by fully integrating providers, Aetna and administrative services. The project also looks to eliminate redundancies in care and administrative problems.
Tom Grote, CEO of the Banner | Aetna joint venture, recently told Healthcare Dive, that the two companies came together with the individual in the center of care. “If we keep the customer — the end user — in mind and build partnerships with that as our North Star, we believe we will have a more successful, efficient and collaborative health system."
Those kind of partnerships and collaborative efforts are one way the industry can reverse the declining trust in healthcare.