Whether driven by the market or by government reform, healthcare in the U.S. is managed care
THE MANAGED CARE movement that began in isolation and quietly spread to communities with advanced healthcare systems saw its progress accelerated in the early ’90s with a government boost called healthcare reform. Since then, the progress of healthcare on its journey from a privilege to a right of employment (and ultimately of citizenship) has been so rapid that managed care almost universally is what we mean when we speak of American healthcare.
It’s no coincidence that information technology has shot forward in the same decade as managed care: Managed care’s proliferation depended upon successful IT strategies to wreak the cost and quality benefits it promised, and IT has enjoyed increasing investment that supports more and more innovative development. It’s hard to imagine where healthcare would be now if the economic and technological planets hadn’t aligned early in the decade.
Our readers have been telling us for months as their facilities combine and integrate with other facilities and business models that they’re in the managed care business. No longer can they afford to plan for information systems that support only acute care, or clinics, or long-term care, or home care. More and more, they need everything they buy to support everything they do--and will do in the coming years. The line between payor and provider is fading.
Many technology suppliers who served the payor or provider community have recognized the shift as well, and either retooled to answer the organizations’ changing needs or have been bought out by those who do. EZCap going to QuadraMed; HBOC acquiring Amisys, GMIS and HPR--the list is long.
So it seems natural that sister publication InfoCare--Information Strategies in Managed Care--has evolved with the industry into Healthcare Informatics--The Business of Healthcare Information Technology, and as of this issue will appear in the pages of this magazine. Many of you in managed care organizations have been reading InfoCare for its focus on the problems and products unique to capitated healthcare. Now you can read it here.
With her years in the industry, InfoCare’s editor, Lisa Paul, has a depth of understanding about managed care’s influence that she’ll bring to present and future coverage of healthcare throughout our pages. We welcome her to the staff, and we welcome too your comments on the influence of managed care in your organization. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.