HMO enrollment grew 14% to 58.2 million in 1995 from 51.1 million in 1994 and is expected to increase to about 70 million in 1996, according to the American Association of Health Plans.
PPO enrollment increased 15% to 91 million at year-end 1995 from 79.2 million in 1994, said the AAHP, an HMO trade group, in a report released at its annual conference in New Orleans last week.
"This is a strong, continuing vote of confidence in a philosophy of healthcare that delivers broader benefits, better care and more accountability-and all at a more affordable cost, " said Karen Ignagni, AAHP president and chief executive officer, in a written statement.
The survey also showed that 73% of HMOs now offer point-of-service plans, in which the member may use unaffiliated providers for an increased cost. The AAHP estimates that more than 80% of HMOs will offer a POS plan in 1996, up from 42% just five years ago.
Virtually all HMOs-99.5%-and 80.6% of PPOs conduct consumer satisfaction surveys and rely on them for feedback, evaluation and quality improvement, as well as for marketing, the study showed.
About 21% of surveyed HMOs report that they began serving Medicare beneficiaries in 1995, bringing the total number of plans providing care to that population to 44%. Another 34% said they plan to start offering Medicare benefits in 1996.
In his keynote address at the conference, Mickey Herbert, newly elected AAHP board chairman, said HMOs "should seize every bully pulpit" to deliver the message that the industry's success is based on its ability to deliver high-quality care.
Herbert is president and CEO of Physicians Health Services, an HMO based in Trumbull, Conn. He predicted that the AAHP's multiyear campaign to inform the public about the merits of managed care will silence HMO bashing in the news media.