, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 481-489

The influence of patient characteristics on ratings of managed behavioral health care

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Despite current emphasis on consumer-based performance measures, little is known about factors that influence consumer ratings of behavioral health care. This study examines the influence of patient characteristics, health care use, and insurance coverage on patients' ratings of their managed behavioral health care in both commercial and public plans. Older and healthier patients rated their behavioral health care and health plan more highly than did other patients. Patients with less education and those whose insurance paid all costs of care gave consistently higher plan ratings. Women and frequent users enrolled in commercial plans gave more positive care ratings. After adjusting for enrollee characteristics and coverage, there were no differences between ratings of patients in commercial and public plans. These results are consistent with other research that illustrates the importance of adjusting health care ratings for patient characteristics when comparing plans.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.