An Empty Toolbox? Changes in Health Plans' Approaches for Managing Costs and Care

Feb. 21, 2003
Health Services Research , 38:1, Part II (February 2003), pp. 375-393
Glen P. Mays, Robert E. Hurley, Joy M. Grossman

 Health plans have begun to scale back or abandon their us of selected managed care tools in most communities, with selective contracting and risk contracting practices fading most rapidly and completely. In turn, plans increasingly have sought cost savings by shifting costs to consumers. Some plans have begun to experiment with new provider networks, payment systems, and referral practices designed to lower costs and improve service delivery.

These changes promise to lighten administrative and financial burdens for physicians and hospitals, but the also threaten to increase consumers’ financial burdens.

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