Most respondents in a survey of top executives of managed-care organizations believe the industry's emphasis on cost will produce a public backlash.
On the other hand, in a related survey only 33% of responding chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies believe such a backlash is coming.
The surveys were conducted by Witt/Kieffer Ford, Hadelman & Lloyd, a healthcare executive search firm based in Oak Brook, Ill.
Fifty-two percent of managed-care executives responding said they believe a backlash is on the way.
One possible reason that few of the big firms' CEOs believe a backlash is coming is that "business people believe profits are acceptable in healthcare organizations as long as cost savings are passed on to business," Witt/Kieffer said in an analysis of the surveys.
Seventy-eight executives out of 550 managed-care organizations responded, or 14%. There were 12 usable responses to the survey of 59 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
The survey of managed-care executives also found that more than 60% of respondents feel that business coalitions can have an impact on managed-care organizations' quality of care. Michael F. Meyer, a vice president at Witt/Kieffer, said that managed-care respondents ranked the need for sophisticated information systems as their chief business issue. "Many noted that these systems are needed to respond to (coalitions') requests for information," he said.
Nearly 67% of the responding CEOs of Fortune 500 companies also believed that business coalitions could potentially improve managed-care organizations' quality of care.