Sharp Health Plan receives high marks on patient satisfaction survey

February 2012

When it comes to quality, Sharp Health Plan members consistently give their health plan high marks. In the 2011 Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Member Satisfaction Survey, members rated Sharp Health Plan highest on the following measures when compared to other plans in the southern California region:

  • Rating of health care
  • Rating of specialist
  • Plan information on cost
  • Flu shot for adults 50 to 64
  • Shared decision making
  • Claims processing
Sharp Health Plan ranked in the 94th percentile. Results from the CAHPS 2011 survey reflect that 79 percent of our members responding to the survey rated Sharp Health Plan an 8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied. This rate is significantly above the 64 percent average rating of the 216 publicly reporting health plans nationally submitting survey results to NCQA in 2011.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has been working to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for two decades. In the mid 1990s, AHRQ launched the CAHPS program, which has become the focus of a national effort to measure, report on and improve the quality of health care from the perspective of consumers and patients.

The goal of the CAHPS study is to get information about consumer experiences with health care. Specifically, the objectives are to measure how well plans are meeting their members’ expectations and goals; to determine which areas of service have the greatest effect on members’ overall satisfaction; and to identify ways to improve the quality of care that is provided.

Sharp Health Plan works hard to understand the information that members communicate on this standardized survey. The results are analyzed each year to see patterns of improvement over time. This information is also given to Sharp Health Plan physicians to help them see areas for improvement.

Sharp Health Plan uses the CAHPS results to design initiatives that affect member satisfaction, such as improvements in health promotion. Not surprisingly, the outcome of listening to members and responding to their needs appears to be member loyalty. The CAHPS results indicate that Sharp Health Plan members are significantly less likely to switch to another health plan and significantly more likely to recommend Sharp Health Plan to other people.