I really can't make too much of the quarterly Verden Rankings. Anyone sitting down to negotiate with an insurance company or analyze contracts should have a copy in hand. It's not only free, but you can't get that kind of information anywhere else. Amazing.
Anyway, check out Susanne Madden's latest blog, which points out a relationship between the scores generated by Verden and the financial performance of the MCOs in question. Ultimately, I find that this relationship verifies the measurements that Verden chose to use - by identifying the very issues that are truly important to a practicing physician, we're seeing (potentially) a cause -> effect between service/quality. What remains to be seen, as Susanne points out, is which comes first. In her words:
Will UnitedHealthcare be the number 1 ranked worst network by end of Q2? We'll have to wait and see . . .
Indeed, we will. That there is a direct link - or "No Coincidence" in Susanne's words - between policy/procedure changes (my words) and medical cost ratios is no surprise. What is surprising is that none of the major media have picked up on it.