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Medicaid managed care plans owned by public companies have higher adminstrative costs
Date:6/14/2011

reported 72 percent of Medicaid enrollees were fully or partially covered by a managed care plan, up from only 55 percent in 2000. From this study sample, the number of enrollees in managed care plans owned by publicly traded companies jumped significantlyfrom 5.6 million to 9.8 million between 2004 and 2009.

"This report shows us that it is possible for health plans to keep administrative costs down and quality high for Medicaid beneficiaries," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Millions of people are already covered by managed care plans and millions more will be added to their ranks when Medicaid is expanded in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. Now is the time to ensure performance of private contractors to assure that scarce resources are used wisely and patients get the high quality health care they deserve."

Key Report Findings:

  • Quality of care data were reported by only one out of four publicly traded Medicaid-only plans. This limited number of plans performed significantly worse than non-publicly traded plans on clinical quality composite measures of preventive care (11 percentage points lower), including childhood immunization status, and adolescent and child well-care visits, and chronic illness care (13 percentage points lower), including diabetes care and appropriate use of medications for asthma for children and adults.

  • Provider-sponsored health plans had the lowest administrative cost ratio overall, 8%, compared to 12% for non-provider sponsored plans.

  • When looking at measures of patients' experience with their health care plan, non-publicly traded plans scored seven percent higher in overall patient satisfaction than the Medicaid-only publicly traded plans.

  • Health plans sponsored by health care providers reported higher quality than non-provider sponsored plansscoring eight percentage points higher when it comes to managing chronic illness and eight percentage points higher
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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