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Managed Care in the Doctor's Office:

Has the Revolution Stalled?

November 2001
American Journal of Managed Care, Vol. 7, No. 11: 1061-1067
Jeffrey Stoddard, James D. Reschovsky, J. Lee Hargraves

fter rapid growth in the early 1990s, managed care currently faces an uncertain future. The impetus behind the drive to managed care was control of costs. The spread of managed care slowed growth in health care costs considerably between the late 1980s and the middle 1990s, an achievement attributed in part to the success of managed care plans in inducing price competition and forcing costs down. A reduction in the diffusion or impact of managed care could therefore lead to a return to inflation in the health care sector.

This study, using longitudinal data from the 1996-97 and the 1998-99 Community Tracking Study Physician Surveys, assesses trends in the involvement of U.S. physicians with managed care.

Multiple measures showed only a modest impact of managed care on physicians’ office practices between 1996 and 1999. This leveling of managed care is not accurately reflected by plan enrollment patterns and may be an indicator of future escalation in health care costs.

Free access to this article is available at the American Journal of Managed Care Web site.


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.