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American Agenda (Medicine: Vital Signs: HMOs) #157466

ABC Evening News for Monday, Nov 20, 1995
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(Studio: Peter Jennings) Three-part segment on changing health care in America introduced. The trend toward Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) featured; statistics and ABC poll findings cited. [Health economist Dr. Paul ELLWOOD - describes the idea of combining medical care and insurance to control costs.] Managed care's ways of controlling cost and deciding on treatment detailed.

(Seattle: George Strait) How consulting firms set up the guidelines for HMOs examined; scenes shown from Seattle. [Milliman and Robertson Dr. Richard DOYLE - comments.] Examples of guidelines for hospital stays for various medical treatments cited. [Group Health of Puget Sound Dr. Matthew HANDLEY, group health cardiologist Dr. Lee AMBLER, University of Arizona Dr. Brendan PHIBBS - offer views on the hospital stay issue.] The concern of doctors that treatment will be based more and more on cost rather than effectiveness noted.

(Studio: Peter Jennings) Report introduced.

(Boston: Tim Johnson) The role of managed care plans in controlling primary care and specialist physicians examined. [Boston's Beth Israel Hospital cardiologist Dr. Larry EPSTEIN - worries about the increasing pressures on primary care doctors.] A case in which the HMO, Dr. Epstein and heart patient Tom Fischer had to agree before a procedure could be carried out cited as an example. [Epstein's secretary Angie BOYCE - shows the paperwork and describes the negotiations.] [Explaining how the system almost killed him, FISCHER - calls it a gamble.] [EPSTEIN - explains how he must now deal more with the business side of medicine.]

(Studio: Peter Jennings) Tomorrow's segment previewed.

Jennings, Peter;
Johnson, Tim;
Strait, George

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