Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Intern Med. 1995 Oct 1;123(7):500-4.

Managed care and capitation in California: how do physicians at financial risk control their own utilization?

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90095-1736, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the structure and range of utilization management methods initiated by physicians in response to capitation.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional questionnaire.

SETTING:

A large network-model health maintenance organization (133 contracting physician groups) in California.

PARTICIPANTS:

94 (71%) physician groups caring for 2.9 million capitated patients.

MEASUREMENTS:

Self-reported use of five major utilization management methods.

RESULTS:

All physician groups reported using gate-keeping and preauthorization for certain referrals or tests. Most also used profiling of utilization patterns (79%), guidelines (70%), and managed care education (69%). Most physician groups asked gatekeepers to submit preauthorization requests for specialty referrals and restricted patient self-referral. For example, 60% of groups required preauthorization for an internal medicine subspecialty referral, and 7% allowed patient self-referral. Most groups also asked gatekeepers to obtain preauthorization for many tests (for example, 95% for magnetic resonance imaging and 53% for pulmonary function tests). Preauthorization requests were denied infrequently (less than 10% of the time) by more than 75% of groups. Of the 54 groups reporting utilization profiles to their physicians, 61% never adjusted for case-mix among patients and more than 60% suggested practice changes to their physicians based on utilization. Fewer than 35% of the groups used written guidelines for expensive tests that required preauthorization (such as angiography).

CONCLUSIONS:

Physicians are responding to capitation by using utilization management techniques, some at early stages of development, that were previously used only by insurers. This physician-initiated management approach represents a fundamental transformation in the practice of medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center