The research article by Deom, Agoritsas, Bovier, and Pernerger (2010) explored the opinions of doctors as to the influence of managed care tools on quality, autonomy, and patient relationships. The scholars evaluated the opinions of doctors regarding the expected influences of eight managed care tools in the setting of Geneva, Switzerland. As managed care is opposite to liberal medical practice, studying how doctors approached its influence on quality is essential.
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The lowest scores were received by such managed care tools as selective contracting (mean score 1.56) and expensive treatments (1.77). The highest score was given to the use of guidelines (3.18) (Deom et al., 2010). The estimated influence on cost control was predominantly positive for most tools, while the impact on autonomy was mostly negative. Through influencing both autonomy and career satisfaction, managed care tools were shown to be generally opposed by doctors since they hampered the ability to provide high-quality care.
As to the impact on care in hospitals and doctors’ offices, managed care offers measures of cost-control that impose cost restrictions (Niles, 2016). In doctors’ offices, managed care can influence patient-practitioner relationships. With the involvement of such factors as health plans, provider networks, health insurance, and other financial benefits associated with managed care, patients tend to build stronger connections with their physicians as they have perceived control over choosing primary care practitioners (Forrest, Shi, von Schrader, & Ng, 2002). Such relationships also benefit doctors because they do not have to worry about the financial aspect of health care – insured patients with cohesive health plans are easier to manage overall.
Deom, M., Agoritsas, T., Bovier, P., & Perneger, T. (2010). What doctors think about the impact of managed care tools on quality of care, costs, autonomy, and relations with patients. BMC Health Services Research, 10, 1-8.
Forrest, C. B., Shi, L., von Schrader, S., & Ng, J. (2002). Managed care, primary care, and the patient-practitioner relationship. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 17(4), 270-277.
Niles, N. (2016) Basics of the U.S. health care system (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.