Wednesday, May 23, 2001

HMSA asks patients
to rate services

Star-Bulletin staff

Starting this week, more than 122,000 members of Hawaii Medical Service Association plans will be surveyed about their physicians and health plan.

HMSA and its health maintenance organization affiliate, Health Plan Hawaii, are conducting the 2001 Member Satisfaction Survey with members of HMSA's Preferred Provider Plan, 65C Plus and Health Plan Hawaii.

Members will be asked about access to medical care, ease of making appointments, thoroughness of treatment, quality of the doctor, attention given to what patients say, friendliness of the office staff and overall quality of care and services.

They also will be asked to rate their satisfaction with services received last year from a specific health-care provider.

Participating physicians and psychologists will receive their own results, as well as total survey results, so they can compare their patient satisfaction levels with those of the entire survey population.

Bob Nickel, HMSA senior vice president, said the survey provides HMSA and participating physicians and psychologists with important feedback from patients.

"The data help identify areas of high member satisfaction and areas where we and our providers can do more in terms of delivering quality care and service."

Cliff Cisco, HMSA senior vice president, said HMSA conducts the survey because consumers have the right to information about health plan characteristics, including satisfaction measures, under the federal Health Care Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

The 1998 Hawaii Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Act also requires health plans to report to the state insurance commissioner information on quality, access and satisfaction, he said.

The annual survey - the fourth conducted by HMSA - also is used as part of HMSA's quality improvement activities related to its Preferred Provider Plan and Health Plan Hawaii, Cisco said.

The survey will be conducted by SMS Research and Marketing Inc. of Honolulu.

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