California Physicians Accept Fewer Managed Care Patients, CHCF Survey Finds
The number of California physicians who accept new patients with HMO coverage decreased in 2001/2002, and fewer physicians participated in "California Model" managed care organizations, according to a study released yesterday by the California HealthCare Foundation. The 2001/2002 California Physicians Survey, titled "California Physicians 2002: Practice and Perceptions," included a sample of 1,033 physicians in large urban areas in the state. The survey, conducted by the University of California-San Francisco Center for the Health Professions, found that 58% of California physicians accepted new HMO patients in 2001/2002; 33% of specialists in the state did not treat HMO patients in 2001/2002, up from 23% in 1998. The survey also found that 62% of California physicians in 2001/2002 participated in Independent Practice Associations, the most common form of physician managed care networks, down from 73% in 1997. In addition, 55% of specialists in California participated in IPAs in 2001/2002, down from 65% in 1998, the survey found. Kaiser Permanente physicians -- who account for about 20% of primary care physicians and 15% of specialists in California -- appear to have the most "staying power" among physicians in the state and "express more positive opinions about their medical practice organization" than those in IPAs and other managed care networks, according to the survey (UCSF release, 12/2). The survey is available online.
A second CHCF report, conducted by First Consulting Group, found that new technologies, provider collaboration and decreased costs have helped reduce the barriers to quality health care in rural areas nationwide. The report, titled "Rural Health Care Delivery: Connecting Communities Through Technology," highlights the technology available to link providers to specialists and other resources with the rural communities that they serve. In addition, the report cites examples of the benefits of new technology and addresses implementation issues such as provider collaboration, regulations and cost (CHCF release, 12/3). The report is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.