ReviveHealth: Internal trust gaps holding back healthcare progress

The ReviveHealth Trust Index looked at the implications of a huge trust gap between health plans and health systems.

NASHVILLE, TN: There’s a considerable trust gap among different parts of the healthcare industry, according to the ReviveHealth Trust Index, which showed a lack of trust among physicians, health system executives, and health plan leaders.

Physicians rated their trust in health plans at an average of 55 on a 100-point scale, while health system executives rated health plans even lower at 54.1. Health plan executives have a slightly better view of the providers, rating systems at 67.7.

ReviveHealth CEO Brandon Edwards said the issue is "at the heart of the dysfunction in the healthcare system," adding it could also be responsible for consumer distrust of the industry.

"There’s no way consumers will trust the industry if people within don't trust one another," he said. "Even really good healthcare organizations get consumers caught in this gap where the consumer says, ‘Should I listen to my doctor or should I listen to my insurer?’"

The distrust could also hinder healthcare industry progress, like the move toward a value-based care system. Health system and health plan executives had very different projections of the amount of value-based care work this year, according to the report. Health system executives said 13% of their total commercial revenues will be value-based, while health plan executives said 44% of the total claims they pay will be from value-based care.

Edwards compared the transition to buying a house with someone else. If a homebuyer doesn’t trust his or her partner, he is less likely to be confident taking the plunge, handing over the money, or living with the other person, Edwards explained.

"If you don't trust one another, you do an enormously complicated contract to protect yourself when buying the house," he said. "How can we be in this arrangement if I don't trust them?"

Edwards said communication within the industry should a bigger priority to make the healthcare system smoother for patients who often get caught between the hospitals and insurance companies.

"If we don't address the b-to-b side, we may make progress on the consumer side, but we’ll never get it where it needs to be," he explained. "We’re talking about how organizations communicate with their business partners, their customers, and every link in the chain. We as PR professionals have to see this gap and we have to plan our message within it."

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