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Am J Med. 1997 Aug;103(2):146-51.

Resource utilization control processes as indicators of quality in managed care organizations: a proposal.

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  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007-2197, USA.


Central to the development of a competitive market for managed care products is the ability to measure the quality of care provided by individual managed care organizations (MCOs). Several types of quality measures could be considered for this purpose: patient and provider satisfaction, a listing of specific services provided to patients, or clinical outcomes of such services. Although assessing quality with measures of the process of care is commonplace, we propose developing measures of the production processes that control utilization of health care resources within an organization. Evaluation of these production or resource utilization control processes, although not a substitute for health outcomes assessment, may improve our knowledge of the delivery of services within managed care organizations. We present a paradigm for evaluation of health care resource utilization control processes within managed care organizations based on our description of internal and external controls for health care resource management. This paradigm can serve as a framework for further research into the quality of care provided by these organizations and the processes of health care resource management in MCOs.

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