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Colorado Doctors Tell Older Patients To Join An HMO

MANAGED CARE March 1999. © MediMedia USA
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Colorado Doctors Tell Older Patients To Join An HMO

MANAGED CARE March 1999. ©1999 Stezzi Communications

Physicians dispense a lot of advice to patients, but rarely do you hear "join an HMO" among their recommendations.

But that's just what a 52-doctor medical practice in the Denver area is telling its 6,000 Medicare patients. Beginning March 1, older beneficiaries were told to join a Medicare HMO before coming back, or be prepared to pay out of pocket, the Denver Post reported.

To physicians outside the area, the reasons might be as unbelievable as the advice: less hassle, better care. The group says the area's three Medicare HMOs are easier to deal with than the government — and under capitation, the doctors can coordinate care better.