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Open Access Short Report

Satisfaction of staff of Swiss insurance companies with medical appraisals: a cross sectional study

Klaus Eichler1*, Daniel Imhof1, Yvonne Bollag2, Susanna Stöhr2, Niklaus Gyr2 and Holger Auerbach1

Author Affiliations

1 Winterthur Institute of Health Economics, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland

2 Academy of Swiss Insurance Medicine (ASIM), University Hospital Basel, Switzerland

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:83  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-83

Published: 28 March 2011

Abstract

Background

A high quality of timely delivered medical appraisals is crucial for social and other insurances to judge possible occupational reintegration measures for patients with medical conditions who are in danger to lose their job. However, little is known about the satisfaction of staff of insurance companies with medical appraisals that they have commissioned.

Our questionnaire survey prospectively included all medical appraisals arriving at Swiss insurances from FEB to APR 2008. We assessed the satisfaction of the commissioner with medical appraisals performed by medical assessors. In addition, we evaluated the contribution of several factors to overall satisfaction. The unit of sample was the medical appraisal.

Findings

We analysed 3165 medical appraisals, 2444 (77%) of them from the public disability insurance, 678 (22%) from private accident, liability and loss of income insurances and 43 (1%) from other insurances. Overall satisfaction of staff of insurance companies in Switzerland was high, but satisfaction of the disability insurance with appraisals was generally lower compared to satisfaction of private insurances. The staff of the disability insurance judged time for preparation as too long in 30%. For staff of private insurance companies 20% of appraisals were not "worth its price". Well-grounded and comprehensible conclusions were the single most important factor for high overall satisfaction (OR 10.1; 95%-CI: 1.1-89.3).

Conclusions

From the viewpoint of staff of insurance companies, a relevant part of medical appraisals arrives too late. Medical assessors have to take the specific needs of insurances into account, to perform more appraisals with sound conclusions in due time.