Managed Care

 

The Future, Whatever It Is, Is Seldom What We Expect

MANAGED CARE February 1998. © MediMedia USA
Editor's Memo

The Future, Whatever It Is, Is Seldom What We Expect

John A. Marcille
MANAGED CARE February 1998. ©1998 Stezzi Communications

John A. Marcille

A lot can happen in a short time. As I write this, President Clinton has just delivered his State of the Union address. A White House summary of his health care proposals is encouraging: putting the strongarm on tobacco companies to shield youngsters from being recruited into the ranks of smokers, passing a managed care consumer's "bill of rights" and boosting the National Institutes of Health budget for biomedical research $1.15 billion this year alone.

Who would have thought, four years ago, that cigarette manufacturers would be so clearly on the defensive, that state and federal government, so typically beholden to big contributors, would be so activist?

Who would have thought, four years ago, after the "managed competition" fiasco, that Clinton would be re-elected so easily? Or that he would now be waist-deep in a sex-and-subornation scandal?

Writing on deadline two weeks before we mail this issue, and knowing that a lot can happen in a short time, I wonder whether the president will be cleared dramatically or damned conclusively before we publish. Last month, when we sent out the January issue with its cover story on physician practice management companies, the MedPartners/PhyCor deal that we mentioned prominently broke apart as the presses were rolling.

In the '90s, a lot has happened to change the financing and delivery of health care in a short time, and just as in politics, it doesn't do to apply much certitude when looking very far into the future. But to fail to look, that's even more foolish.

When I look, I see continued government activism in reaction to managed care's failure to effectively police and promote itself. If it could do both, consumers would be reassured, the conservative Congress would back off and physicians and plans could get down to business — together. A lot can happen in a short time.

Meetings

2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
6th Semi-Annual Diagnostic Coverage and Reimbursement Conference Boston December 4–5, 2014
Customer Analytics & Engagement in Health Insurance Chicago December 4–5, 2014
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Clinical Quality Assurance Conference Alexandria, VA December 4–5, 2014
9th Semi-Annual Medical Device Coverage and Reimbursement Conference San Diego December 5, 2014
8th Annual Medical Device Clinical Trials Conference Chicago December 8–9, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015