CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558

Survey finds most at Stanford are satisfied with health care plans

STANFORD -- A survey conducted among Stanford University employees last August found that the vast majority of the respondents were satisfied with their health care plan, the office of Total Compensation says.

Thirty-four percent of Stanford employees enrolled in the four health care plans the university offers responded. The surveys were distributed by each health plan to its enrollees.

Those who considered themselves "satisfied" with their health care plan ranged from 82 percent for Triple Option to 94.7 percent for TakeCare. The percentage of Kaiser subscribers who considered themselves satisfied was 92.9 percent, and Health Net was deemed satisfactory by 89.9 percent.

Elise Pomerantz-Watzka, project manager of health and welfare plans in the Office of Total Compensation, said the slightly lower level of satisfaction with Triple Option - which was included for the first time last year - when compared with the HMOs (health maintenance organizations) is understandable.

Many of those opting for Triple Option previously had been covered by Blue Shield, which afforded maximum flexibility but was becoming prohibitively costly for the university.

"The [Triple Option] plan was brand new and considerably different for many employees," Pomerantz-Watzka said. "Some of the clinics had difficulty learning how to administer the referral process."

Overall, however, "We feel pretty good about these figures," she said.

The office is considering doing future surveys within all the plans offered, to identify areas that require improvement and to determine if satisfaction with Triple Option increases as it becomes a more familiar health care option, she said.

"We're also interested in determining satisfaction with hospital and primary medical groups, since they are most responsible for the quality of care."

In addition, Total Compensation will present the findings to each of the four health care plans in an effort to improve the quality of service for Stanford employees and their dependents.

Majority satisfied with care

When asked specifically to rate the overall health care offered by each of the plans, the percentages of those satisfied were also very high. For Kaiser, 87.9 percent of those responding were satisfied; 89.3 percent were happy with the care under Triple Option; 93 percent of Health Net subscribers and 95.8 percent of those using TakeCare were likewise satisfied.

Questions involved members' assessment of access, finances, technical/clinical quality, communication, choice and continuity, interpersonal care, outcomes and management of care.

In all four plans, at least eight out of 10 respondents were satisfied with the administration (services covered, information provided, paperwork, care costs and management of coverage). For Triple Option, 82.7 percent were satisfied; Kaiser was acceptable for 89.8 percent; Health Net was rated satisfactory by 89.1 percent and TakeCare was rated satisfactory by 93.8 percent.

Pluses, minuses

Subscribers also were asked to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their plan:



This is an archived release.

This release is not available in any other form. Images mentioned in this release are not available online.
Stanford News Service has an extensive library of images, some of which may be available to you online. Direct your request by EMail to newslibrary@stanford.edu.