American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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From the April 1999 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1999 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Study: Physicians are key to health plan success

Physicians are the critical element in how enrollees rate health plans, according to a study released by The Medstat Group.

Physician performance accounted for almost half of a plan's patient satisfaction score. Three of the top four categories deemed most important to plan members were physician-related: choice of providers, physician care and time pressures. Study results also revealed that members are strongly influenced by their perception of how difficult it is for their physician to deal with a plan's administration and policies.

While many health plans concentrate on improving administration and customer service, the study suggests that better physician support would bring higher returns in member satisfaction and enrollment.

New awards promote care of diverse groups of seniors

Applications for two new awards aimed at promoting health care for seniors from diverse backgrounds are due in June.

The Share awards will distribute $4.5 million from 1999 to 2001 in two different award categories. Leadership awards of $50,000 each will be given to as many as 10 organizations that demonstrate best practices in caring for culturally diverse groups of older patients. Innovation awards of $200,000 each will be given to as many as five organizations that propose model approaches to improve health care access and delivery to diverse groups of elders.

Applications for the leadership awards are due June 1; applications for the innovation awards are due June 15. For more information, call the University of Pennsylvania Institute on Aging at 215-573-5532 or visit its Web site at www.health.upenn.edu/share.

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