Snapshots of Change in Fifteen Communities:

Impact of Purchasing Strategies on Local Health Care Systems

Summer 1996
Health Affairs , vol.15, no.2 (Summer 1996): 62-76
Debra J. Lipson, Jeanne M. De Sa

fforts to control health care costs increasingly rely on purchasers to seek the best value for their investment. In this examination of purchasing strategies in fifteen communities, most purchasers employed traditional strategies to reduce their direct cost, such as shifting costs to employees and switching from indemnity to managed care plans. Fewer purchasers - mostly large companies, public agencies, and coalitions - were using more resource-intensive strategies such as direct contracting with providers or selecting plans based on quality to improve value or efficiency. Although both sets of strategies might help to reduce costs, they are not yet changing the delivery of health care in local communities.

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