Managed care organizations (MCOs) are facing intense criticism at national, state, and local levels and battling initiatives that would impose stricter regulation. Medical directors of HMOs were surveyed regarding their organizations' strategies of communication, the programs they have instituted to build trust, and their commitment to sponsoring family and patient support groups. The responses obtained from 252 directors indicate that nonprofit and free-standing organizations are more likely than either for-profit HMOs or organizations that are part of a chain to sponsor community activities and programs and to offer family and patient support groups. Staff- and group-model HMOs are more likely than other organizational configurations to initiate many types of "trust programs." The results indicate that more dispersed and "virtual-type" organizations must explore ways to respond meaningfully to community concerns-and to public health, prevention, and health promotion needs as well-while continuing to improve their practice patterns.
Author(s): David Mechanic; Marsha Rosenthal
Volume 77, Issue 3
Published in 1999