WASHINGTON--The Physician Payment Review Commission (PPRC) released
a study describing how managed care plans select and pay physicians
in their networks. The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy
Research and the Medical College of Virginia, is the first systematic
attempt to compare forms of managed care.
The survey of 108 HMOs and PPOs with a total patient enrollment
of 33 million people found that managed care has significantly
changed the way physicians practice. The future will bring more
changes, including less independence and less flexibility in practice
parameters. At the same time, however, the study revealed that
managed care plans create clinically cohesive organizations that
use information to improve quality of care.