Shattering the myths about what's wrong with managed health care, this penetrating introduction to managed care explains its origins and identifies its real achievements and shortcomings. Walter A. Zelman and Robert A. Berenson argue that many criticisms of managed care tend to idealize the costly and fragmented insurance system it supplanted, without pinpointing the true inadequacies of today's managed care. In addition to providing reasoned answers to the most alarmist critiques of managed care, the authors maintain that it has not fulfilled its potential to improve the overall quality of care. The authors propose thirteen concrete recommendations for raising quality in managed care programs, ranging from enacting additional legal protections and increased disclosure to putting the purchasing power in the hands of those who care most about quality - individuals, rather than employers. With practical solutions for making managed care better, "The Managed Care Blues and How to Cure Them" is a bold call for greater consumer protection, knowledge, and power in the health care arena.
Walter A. Zelman is an instructor in health policy and management at the School of Public Health at Harvard University. He has served as a special deputy to the commissioner of the California Department of Insurance and as the California director of Common Cause, the public interest group. Robert A. Berenson, MD, is currently director of the Center for Health Policy Plus and Providers in the Health Care Financing Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. He has practiced medicine for more than twenty years and was the founder and medical director of the National Capital Preferred Provider Organization. Both authors have served as health policy advisors to the White House.