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Iowa Employers to Rate Health Care Providers

Rating Iowa Health Care ProvidersIn our 2013 survey, we are asking Iowa employers to rate hospitals and physicians within their communities on 11 important performance measurements. Without a doubt, this particular module of our 2013 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© will be quite fascinating. To the best of my knowledge, Iowa employers have never been asked to rate health care providers in their communities – until now.

It’s about time.

Asking Iowa employers to rate health care providers will be important for a number of reasons. Two key reasons are:

  1. Employers contribute a considerable portion of the medical insurance premium for employees and their families. From our 2012 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©, the average employer contributes about 80 percent of the employee-only premium, or about $4,400 annually. The employee contributes the other 20 percent, or $1,065 annually. For employees with family health insurance coverage, the employer pays about two-thirds of the annual family premium ($8,900), while the employee pays the other one-third ($4,657). Needless to say, the average Iowa employer is very generous when picking up the health care tab for their employees.
  2. Despite annual premium increases, Iowa employers have CONSISTENTLY absorbed escalating costs since 1999 (the first year our Study began).  Employers make this ‘investment’ to maintain and improve the health and well-being of their workforce. The illustration below compares Iowa to the national average on employee contributions for health coverage since 1999. The national numbers come from Kaiser/HRET.

Average Percentage of Premium Paid by Covered WorkersThe two reasons above help illustrate the necessity of having Iowa employers provide input on the “value” they receive from this considerable outlay of money to our health care provider community. How Iowa employers perceive the performance of health care providers will cast an important light on measurement area(s) that may need improvement. Our new module of questions will help us understand just how satisfied employers are with this perennial investment. We do realize, however, that there are other external influences that must be accounted for when assessing the provider communities – such as public policy issues, insurance vendor arrangements, patient engagement, etc. 

The 11 performance measures will be based on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 means “failing” and 10 means “excellent.” The performance measures for both hospitals and physicians include:

  • The transparency of costs
  • The transparency in medical outcomes
  • The coordination of care among providers
  • Keeping costs reasonable
  • Consistent quality of care
  • Focus on wellness and health promotion
  • Access to services
  • Electronic health records
  • Efficiency
  • Concern for patient satisfaction
  • The ability to engage patients

Finally, employers will also be asked to provide feedback on how much they trust (or don’t trust) the medical provider community in which they operate. As mentioned in previous blogs, TRUST is an extremely important measurement to any industry, but absolutely critical in the health care world.

The results of this important survey will be published early this Fall by our new, sister organization, Heartland Health Research Institute and will be shared with the public.

To learn more, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.