MANAGED CARE May 2003. ©MediMedia USA
Journalists pay an awful lot of attention to how articles begin. The lead had better be a grabber, or most readers will wander off to the next story. (Is everyone still with me?)
This month's edition of Managed Care comes with the usual grabber leads. However, a couple of our stories also include endings that shoved me right into the future. For instance, our cover story about the single-payer system  is something you may want to stay with until the end. I don't want to give too much away. Suffice it to say that author John Carroll reminded me of how gratifying it is to live in our society.
Since before the founding of our imperfect nation, people have been able to publicly voice their ideas, where those concepts are then tested, tempered, and refined. From this cacophony, change emerges. Sometimes, it is astonishing in its scope.
Look at our story on how health plans are beginning to launch programs that cater to the victims of domestic abuse  for another compelling lead, and thought-provoking ending. Since the ending does much more and much less than sum up the story, it can be repeated here. Author MargaretAnn Cross quotes Brigid McCaw, MD, the clinical lead for Family Violence Prevention Services at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
"Health plans and physicians can say, 'This isn't just a law enforcement problem, this is a health care problem. It's not my job to try to get the person out of this relationship; it's my job to identify and refer.' And that's what we do for all kinds of other health problems; this is no different."
The future questions us.
- Who wants health plans to aspire to ever-greater heights of quality? 
- What are the ramifications of the Supreme Court's recent any-willing-provider ruling? 
- When are you — as a professional — justified in voicing your political views? 
- Where are physicians being offered bonuses for delivering quality care? 
- How will doctors in the employ of businesses affect the benefit packages offered by health plans? 
- Why are shared medical appointments beginning to catch on? 
Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? You don't have to be a journalist to be excited about where the answers might lead.