Balancing Act: Plans and Promises for ’98


Managed Care has two main groups of readers: practicing physicians and health care plan executives. As you might imagine, crafting stories that will be of interest and use to both groups is quite a challenge.

Every month we reject proposals that are one-sided, inflammatory, self-serving and/or short-sighted. But don’t for a minute think we are watering anything down. In this issue, for example, you’ll find strong views on the place of physician practice management companies (the cover story, on page 19, and “Are PPMs Beauties … or Are They Beasts?” on page 26), on the effects of the federal Mental Health Parity Act (Parity for Behavioral Health,” page 33) and on the wants and concerns of the employers who pay the health care piper and who, increasingly, insist on calling the tune (“An Interview With Catherine Kunkel,” page 41).

As I ease into the editor’s chair that has been filled capably by Timothy S. Kelley, Patrick G. Mullen and Carroll S. Dowden, I plan no drastic changes. Managed Care will continue to print a diversity of features stories, news items and commentary. Each of us has a distinct personality and background, pet peeves and peculiarities. It would be vain and ridiculous for a writer or editor to claim objectivity. I do promise, however, that our staff will do its best to make Managed Care timely, fair and useful. And I know that what I learned in my earlier newspaper work, plus my service on this magazine and my work on related publications, will help me keep that promise.

We believe that all parties share–or should share–the common goal of providing high-quality health care, even if they may define and measure it differently. And we believe that mutual respect, coupled with vigorous debate, will help the health care establishment sort out its differences with a minimum of interference by legislators. We plan to contribute to that debate.

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