MANAGED CARE November 2000. ©2000 MediMedia USA
Researchers studying 46,000 employees in six large companies found that 25 percent of medical claims could be linked to lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and smoking. The study appears in the Journal of Health Promotion.... Health plans' HEDIS performance is influenced by socioeconomic factors, according to an examination by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Within plans, lower-income and minority status often correlate with poorer quality of care.... Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield dropped its controversial plan to institute a risk-adjusted compensation system for cardiologists, ophthalmologists, and orthopedists in its Medicare HMO. The three are its highest-cost specialties, in terms of claims dollars.... A study in the British Medical Journal indicates that patients want direct guidance from physicians for most physical problems, but when it comes to mental health and lifestyle, people prefer to reach a joint decision on treatment options with their physicians.