MANAGED CARE: Good for Cost, Quality, Access, Says Dr. Ho
Dr. Sam Ho, vice president of medical quality for PacifiCare Health Systems, takes issue with a recent Los Angeles Times report on doctors' discontent with managed care. In a letter to the editor, Ho reminds readers that managed care has improved health and kept costs down: "Ten years ago, national mammography rates were a shameful 12%. Now, under managed care they are 72% for women over age 50, a 600% improvement. Extensive patient and physician education programs, implementation of scientifically sound guidelines, standardized measures and report cards and coverage of preventive health services have made this possible. Managed care, while far from perfect, is moving us as a society in the right direction with respect to health care affordability, quality and access." He concludes: "Having been a practicing family physician, professor at a medical school, county health officer in public health and a physician working in an HMO, I can tell you that the 'good old days' weren't all that good" (3/9).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.