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Healthcare Providers' Trust in Payers 'Abominably Low'

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2014

A survey designed to measure the level of trust that hospital executives have in health insurance companies finds several factors that contribute to low scores, including the length of time it takes for claims to be paid, and the rates hospitals and physicians are paid.


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It may come as a shock, but new research confirms it: Healthcare providers do not trust payers.

Payers scored poorly on all three of the new trust questions in the annual National Payor Survey conducted by ReviveHealth, a Nashville, TN-based strategic communications firm and Catalyst Healthcare Research. The results from the final question, which asked providers whether a particular payer "balances its interests with ours and doesn't routinely take advantage of us," were particularly dire.

"I was surprised that the numbers were as bleak as they were on [that] last question," said Brandon Edwards, CEO of Nashville-based ReviveHealth. "It's very hard to lawyer your way around that, or to contract your way around that."

On a 1–100 scale, payers posted an average score of 47 on balancing interests with providers. "All scores were lower in this measure, suggesting a disconnect between the interests of payors and providers," the survey states.

ReviveHealth's "Payor Trust Index" crafted the trust questions in conjunction with Catalyst Healthcare Research. Slightly more than 200 health system and hospital executives participated in the survey, with respondents representing about a quarter of the country's hospitals, Edwards said.

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1 comments on "Providers' Trust in Payers 'Abominably Low'"


Lawrence Lievense, FHFMA, FACMPE, FHIAS (5/14/2014 at 8:09 PM)
It is in no way amazing nor surprising to anyone working in healthcare finance that the "relationship" is extremely poor between providers and payors. During my 30+ years as a patient accounting director (VP, Manager, et al) I made my living on one basic premise - that payors are adversarial in nature and will not pay any bill unless forced to do so. Payors make their profit by collecting as much in premiums as possible and paying as little for health care as possible - which includes denying and delaying payment on even legitimate claims whenever possible. Providers however make their living caring for the sick and injured. Of course the relationship is adversarial - we providers represent the patients (aka: damn policyholders to the payors.) Twenty years ago I actually (and naiively) was worried that my job would disappear when new-fangled "Komputers" began to allow payors to adjudicate claims automatically (aka: faster.) No problem - my colleagues and I are still gainfully employed as any system which allowed faster payor payments was never implemented. Why we needed an article to highlight this is beyond me.