Visits to physicians by Illinois HMO members fell by 35.8% in 2002, according to the "2003 Patients' Guide to Illinois HMOs", released today by the Illinois State Medical Society.
Officials at the medical society could not explain the drop, which went from an average of about five visits per enrollee in 2001 to 3.3 visits in 2002. They say the numbers are based on data from the state department of insurance, which collects the data from HMOs.
Meanwhile, the report says Illinois HMO members spent more days in the hospital, with the average day count climbing to 0.46 days per patient in 2002 from 0.33 days per patient in 2001.
The group's study of 24 HMOs in the state also finds that:
- HMO premiums increased 12.7% from 2001, to $2,157 in 2002.
- Enrollment fell by 5%, to 2.1 million in 2002.
- Plans' net worth increased by an average of 10.3% in 2002, and all of them had a positive net worth.
- Seventeen plans made a profit in 2002, six took a loss, and one broke even.
- The proportion of the HMOs' total income spent on administration in 2002 ranged from 7.1% to 66.5%.