HMOs and Managed Care: Implications for Rural Physician Manpower Planning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

American health care is changing dramatically. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other managed care plans are central to this change. Today, the majority of Americans living in metropolitan areas receive their care from these types of plans. The goal of this article is two‐fold. First, it will discuss the potential implications of HMOs and managed care for physician needs and supply in rural regions. Second, it will derive insight into alternative approaches for meeting rural health manpower needs by analyzing HMO staffing patterns. As HMOs and other managed care plans expand, rural physicians, their practices, and their patients will almost certainly be affected. As described in this paper, most of these effects are likely to be positive. The staffing patterns used by HMOs provide an interesting point of comparison for those responsible for rural health manpower planning and resource development. HMOs appear to meet the needs of their enrollees with significantly fewer providers than are available nationally or suggested by the federal standards. Moreover, HMOs make greater use of nonphysician providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-387
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Rural Health
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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