Academic medical centers are channeling more of their efforts toward managed care, a national survey indicates.
Some 51% of the academic medical centers that responded to a survey sponsored by the University Hospital Consortium said they had formed a joint contracting point for all physician and hospital services as of late 1993. Only 30% of academic medical centers had done that in 1992, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based alliance said.
"This shows that we are getting a more organized approach," said Christine Malcolm, UHC's vice president for managed care. "Academic medical centers are showing a greater investment in managed care."
Academic centers have been criticized for being too complicated to deal with when it comes to managed care. But Ms. Malcolm said the joint contracting point offers "one-stop shopping" for payers.
The survey revealed academic medical centers are spending more money and personnel hours on managed care.
In 1993, the academic medical centers that responded to the survey boosted their managed-care budgets 55% to prepare for changes in coverage and increased their full-time employees 43% in areas that are responsible for managed-care contracting, Ms. Malcolm said.
The UHC released the results after 45 of their 63 members responded to the survey, which was distributed at the end of last year. There are now 65 members of UHC, a not-for-profit alliance of academic medical centers.
The survey also noted academic medical centers were building on the increased ability of their faculty practice plans to contract with managed-care organizations. Of the 45 respondents, 53% have practice plans contracting as a single organization. Meanwhile, 73% have practice plans able to assume coverage risks, and 53% have practice plans able to contract for primary care.