Vol. 6, No. 6
Smoking, fat-filled diets, endless gazing at the tubethey're disastrous for health and bad for the bottom line. So physicians and managed care organizations are grappling with ways to put more life into the American life style.
Managed care contracts are most practices' lifeblood now, and it's a buyer's market for the insuring organization. Groups that want to get and keep contracts will be able to demonstrate quality-improvement systems and show health plans hard data.
Americans are hungry for medical information, and they're getting more of it than ever. Some are even retaining consultants who specialize in helping them get the most from doctors and health plans.
News that his HMO is being sold to Malik Hasan, M.D.'s fast-growing Foundation Health Systems Inc. doesn't change Michael E. Herbert's role as an industry advocate and chairman of the American Association of Health Plans.
Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Vials with microchips, beeping blister packs and other new pharmaceutical delivery media could lower overall health care costs.
Managed care-induced hassles are not universalnor are they constant. Some have receded over the years. Doctors who have surmounted or sidestepped these hassles may actually have their health plans to thank.
Formal disease management programs represent one of the more vibrant areas of health care, with drug manufacturers, health plans and independent companies all greatly interested. Here's a plan for putting such a program together.
News and Commentary 14
Washington Initiatives 17
Employer Update 20
Compensation Monitor 22
Legal Forum 77
Managed Care Outlook 82