There was one bright spot for all the payers. All seven scored highest in the area of how promptly claims are paid.
Still, Brennan says, there is work to be done in payer communication.
"What we really saw as the biggest predictors of overall satisfaction were the payer's abilities to answer questions quickly, accurately, and consistently."
She says a lot of MGMA members commented on long, drawn-out automated processes, getting to the right person, and offshore calling centers, though on that last point there has been some improvement.
"A couple of payers [are] bringing call centers back to the U.S. rather than continuing to have them located in other countries. There were a lot of complaints about dealing with language barriers and communication issues, so that is something that we've been pleased to see," says Brennan.
United Healthcare added call center jobs to its locations in Miami and Buffalo earlier this year.
The relationship between physician practices and payers isn't rosy, but Brennan hopes the survey will open the door to more dialogue between the two groups.
"We want to work with them to improve these relationships. There is a lot of frustration out there and there are a lot of areas we can work together on," says Brennan.