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.