Assessments of Medical Care by Enrollees in for-Profit and Nonprofit Health Maintenance Organizations
Tu, Ha T.
Reschovsky, James D.
New England Journal of Medicine 2002 April 25; 346(17): 1288- 1293
BACKGROUND: It is uncertain how assessments of medical care differ between enrollees in for-profit and nonprofit health maintenance organizations (HMOs). METHODS: We analyzed the relation between the profit status of HMOs and enrollees' assessments of their care. We used data from two national surveys from the Community Tracking Study: the Household Survey, 1996-1997, and the 1997-1998 Insurance Followback Survey. The final sample included 13,271 persons under 65 years of age (10,654 adults and 2617 children) with employer-sponsored insurance who obtained health care through an HMO. A total of 12,445 enrollees who reported their health status as excellent, very good, or good were considered to be healthy; 826 with self-reported fair or poor health were considered to be sick. RESULTS: In the sample as a whole, enrollees in nonprofit plans were more likely to be very satisfied with their overall care than enrollees in for-profit plans (adjusted means, 64.0 percent and 58.1 percent, respectively; P=0.01). Among enrollees in for-profit HMOs, sick enrollees were more likely than healthy enrollees to report unmet need or delayed care (17.4 percent vs. 13.1 percent, P=0.004) and organizational or administrative barriers to care (12.9 percent vs. 9.0 percent, P
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