California leads HMO enrollment

Pharmaceutical Representative

California continues to lead the nation in HMO enrollment, with 55% of the state's population participating in an HMO plan, according to a survey released by Medical Data International, Santa Ana, CA.

California continues to lead the nation in HMO enrollment, with 55% of the state's population participating in an HMO plan, according to a survey released by Medical Data International, Santa Ana, CA.

Two-thirds of the 50 states - a total of 33 - increased in HMO enrollment since last year's survey. Highest increases were east of the Mississippi, with Pennsylvania's HMO penetration climbing 15% over the previous year.

Although the West Coast, especially California, continued to show strong numbers, enrollments in Oregon and Utah actually dropped slightly (3% and 2%, respectively). Another dozen states remained essentially flat.

According to the survey, states reporting lowest enrollments tended to be in the northern part of the country. These included Alaska, with virtually no HMO enrollees, and Wyoming and North Dakota, with 3% each. Lowest enrolling Metropolitan Statistical Areas were in the Midwest and the South: Greenville, SC, tallied 14%; Birmingham, AL, 18%; and New Orleans, and Wichita, KS, each totaled 24%.

MDI also looked at 65 large metropolitan statistical areas. In most (80%) of these major population centers, at least one-third of residents are now enrolled in HMO plans, when only about half of the MSAs showed enrollments of one-third or more. According to the survey, the highest enrolling MSA in the country is now Sacramento, CA, at 82% penetration, followed by San Francisco, with 72%. Rochester, NY, the previous year's leader, fell to third place, at 68%.

HMO penetration data for all states and the 65 MSAs is reported in visual format on the 2000 version of MDI's annual "Managed Care Profile Map," a four-color, poster-size graphic. More information is available on MDI's Web site: www.medicaldata.com. PR