ReviveHealth, a hospital public relations firm in Santa Barbara, CA, released the results of their annual survey that asked hospitals for their opinions on health insurers. This year’s worst insurer, according to the results, was WellPoint.
WellPoint, which had lost over 18 percent of its market share over the last two months, according to Businessweek, ranked last in overall favorability and in the “dealing with hospitals” category. WellPoint’s position may reflect the dominance of its Blue Cross plans in states where it operates, according to Jason Gurda, a Leerink Swann & Co. analyst in New York.
“They tend to have a lot of market share and having a lot of market share means you don’t have to be as generous as everybody else,” Gurda said in a telephone interview to BusinessWeek.
Cigna was ranked number 1 in overall favorability while Aetna scored best in the dealing with hospitals category.
UnitedHealthcare, the country’s biggest private health insurer, rose in the rankings compared to previous years, placing sixth out of seven in the dealing with hospitals category and fifth out of seven in overall favorability.
“United is clearly improving, but it’s two years in a row of baby steps,” according to the survey.
Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans ranked worst in hospital payment rates for the second year in a row.
The survey was commissioned by Revive, but carried out by Monigle Associates, a Denver-based marketing firm that works with health-care companies Monigle collected data from 403 correspondents from hospitals all over the country from February 2012 to June 2012.