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Health Plans Get a C- From Employers in Leapfrog Survey

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In 2020, the overall grade was a C.

Employers gave their health plans a C- and “remain disappointed in many aspects of health plan performance,” according to a Leapfrog Group survey of companies that administer and fund benefits for employees.

The survey, which was conducted in the summer of 2022, was not statistically powered to provide results for individual health plans, according to Leapfrog. Only aggregate results were made public, but Leapfrog says the respondents had experience with major insurers, such as Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. The survey had 114 respondents, about half of whom were human resources directors or managers.

Leapfrog, which is known for its quality ratings of hospitals, conducted a similar survey in 2020. The overall grade, which is based on rating of quality, cost-effectiveness and value, in 2020 was a C (2.57 vs. 2.29 in 2022).

However, the differences in many of the results between 2020 and 2022 were minimal, with two exceptions, according to a Leapfrog news release about the survey.

In 2022, employers were more likely to agree that their health plan shares quality and safety data than in 2020 (26% in 2022 vs. 13% in 2020).

But a larger proportion of the respondents in 2022 indicated dissatisfaction with the alternative payment model options offered by their health plan (41% in 2022 vs. 30% in 2020.

The 2022 results show satisfaction with health plans in many areas, although the majorities weren’t huge. Most of the respondents (59%) agreed that their health plan gives employees easy access to usable data. Similar proportions agreed that their health plan cares about quality (57%), has improving employee health as a priority (56%) and is committed to reducing unnecessary healthcare costs (53%).

But only a minority (40%) agreed that employees get quality information on providers, and similar proportion (38%) of the respondents agreed that the health plan puts employer needs over hospital needs.

Leapfrog says the most important factors in receiving a high overall grade were a belief that the plan cared the quality of care received and improving employee health.

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