Impact of TennCare on Patient Satisfaction with Care

American Journal of Managed Care
Vol. 5, No. 6
June 1999
Conover, C., Mah, M., Rankin, P., and F.A. Sloan
pp. 765-75

OBJECTIVE: To measure the level of satisfaction with care by Medicaid-eligible patients before and after implementation of a mandatory managed care plan known as TennCare. STUDY DESIGN: We used multivariate logit analysis of survey data to calculate the effects of TennCare on patient satisfaction for TennCare patients compared to those on traditional Medicaid, using North Carolina as a control state. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were respondents to a survey conducted in late 1996 and early 1997 who had been admitted to hospitals in 1993 and 1995 for labor/delivery (n = 986), acute myocardial infarction (n = 457), and head trauma (n = 248). Dependent variables were yes/no responses to satisfaction questions for labor/delivery and 5-category ordered responses for adults. RESULTS: We found no statistically significant differences in satisfaction between TennCare and traditional Medicaid for either pediatric or adult hospital patients. Generally, TennCare recipients had satisfaction levels as good or better than traditional Medicaid recipients. For pediatric care, TennCare odds ratios ranged from 1.00 to 2.17, the latter for satisfaction with care received (P = 0.107). For adult care, odds ratios ranged from 0.77 to 1.23, the latter for satisfaction with cost of care (P = 0.547). For many dimensions of care, lower rates of satisfaction were reported for respondents who were uninsured, less educated, and in poor health. For adult care, blacks or Hispanics tended to be less satisfied with some aspects of care. CONCLUSION: TennCare did not reduce patient satisfaction with care among those who were hospitalized.

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