Thursday, June 20, 2002

Managed Care is Dead

Hang the black crepe, warm up the hearse. Managed care, HMO style health insurance, is dead.

It has been killed by progressive litigation and laws that destroy the ability of insurance companies to limit their liability.

The latest ruling from the Supreme Court places no practical limit on the treatments for which patients can demand reimbursement. Regardless of the agreement with the HMO, a patient can go to an outside board of experts for an opinion and then get treated by an outside physician, then demand that the HMO pay up.

This makes HMO care no different from traditional health insurance, and the costs of insurance through HMO's are skyrocketing as a result, over 50% in one year for much of Texas, for example.

This will markedly increase the numbers of people who will have to go without insurance, and it brings closer the day when the whole health care financial system breaks down.