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Paper Chase

Views of managed care--a survey of students, residents, faculty, and deans at medical schools in the United States.

N. Engl. J. Med.. Mar 25, 1999;340(12):928-36.
Simon SR, Pan RJ, Sullivan AM, Clark-Chiarelli N, Connelly MT, Peters AS, Singer JD, Inui TS, Block SD.

Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston, Mass 02215, USA.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND METHODS

Views of managed care among academic physicians and medical students in the United States are not well known. In 1997, we conducted a telephone survey of a national sample of medical students (506 respondents), residents (494), faculty members (728), department chairs (186), directors of residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics (143), and deans (105) at U.S. medical schools to determine their experiences in and perspectives on managed care. The overall rate of response was 80.1 percent.

RESULTS

Respondents rated their attitudes toward managed care on a 0-to-10 scale, with 0 defined as "as negative as possible" and 10 as "as positive as possible." The expressed attitudes toward managed care were negative, ranging from a low mean (+/-SD) score of 3.9+/-1.7 for residents to a high of 5.0+/-1.3 for deans. When asked about specific aspects of care, fee-for-service medicine was rated better than managed care in terms of access (by 80.2 percent of respondents), minimizing ethical conflicts (74.8 percent), and the quality of the doctor-patient relationship (70.6 percent). With respect to the continuity of care, 52.0 percent of respondents preferred fee-for-service medicine, and 29.3 percent preferred managed care. For care at the end of life, 49.1 percent preferred fee-for-service medicine, and 20.5 percent preferred managed care. With respect to care for patients with chronic illness, 41.8 percent preferred fee-for-service care, and 30.8 percent preferred managed care. Faculty members, residency-training directors, and department chairs responded that managed care had reduced the time they had available for research (63.1 percent agreed) and teaching (58.9 percent) and had reduced their income (55.8 percent). Overall, 46.6 percent of faculty members, 26.7 percent of residency-training directors, and 42.7 percent of department chairs reported that the message they delivered to students about managed care was negative.

CONCLUSIONS

Negative views of managed care are widespread among medical students, residents, faculty members, and medical school deans.