Why can't patients understand managed care information? Too often, printed materials baffle them because authors don't take into account literacy level, reading skills, thinking style or short-term memory.
In Virginia, sheer persistence helped a large family practice group forge a partnership that provides the capital for full-risk contracting without requiring subservience.
In Minnesota, a joint venture between two family practice groups is reclaiming for family doctors the power to decide which specialists and hospitals to send their patients to.
In California, multiyear "evergreen" HMO contracts are one ticket to greater operating autonomy for a large medical group created by a recent merger.
In Florida, one physician group believes trading away a measure of financial independence to a physician practice management company has actually given it more clout where it counts.
For physicians, reclaiming a measure of clinical autonomy can be a matter of health itself. But alas, there's no one blueprint to follow.
For both physicians and health plans these days, it's imperative to make sure patients are satisfied "customers." But just how can that be done? Our reporter attended a workshop in Wisconsin to find out.
If you've ever grumbled about how the press plays up one tragedy while ignoring millions of successes, you won't enjoy reading this. But you should. There's a lesson here about managed care's failure to tell its story effectively.
Applying the principles of industry to the practice of medicine has occurred to a number of people at different points in their careers. It hit David Nash in high school.
Backers hope that provider-sponsored organizations will offer some pretty strong competition to conventional Medicare and Medicaid HMOs. Opponents claim PSOs have been given an inappropriate advantage.
Organizations such as NCQA are grading managed care plans on many aspects of care and making the results public. Health plans, in turn, are evaluating physicians. Here are some suggestions for making the grade.
The national goal is to immunize 90 percent of children under 2 by 2000, yet today the rate is still only about 75 percent. To meet the target, health plans are employing a variety of new techniques.
John La Puma, M.D.
Neil Caesar, J.D.
Managed Care Outlook