Managed care grows up: Quality care= happy patients, lower costs

Today’s story in the NY Times reports on the new effort to offer lower cost insurance premiums for those willing to accepts a limited network.

One way insurers say they hope to prevent another consumer backlash is by emphasizing that they are not choosing doctors on price alone. The insurers say they look to see how quickly a doctor’s patients recover from surgery, for example. But how much the insurers emphasize quality remains to be seen.

But many insurers say they are still figuring out how to persuade people to choose these plans rather than force them to enroll. “What’s not changed are the old techniques of black-belt managed care,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna’s president. “We have to create the same kind of model without the ‘Mother, may I.’ What we want is the ‘Mother, should I.’ 

During the recent Tea Party rally, BHN talked to people holding signs against what they call “Obamacare.” We asked one of them where he gets his care. From the state plan, he responded. I hate it,he said. I feel like a mooch.

So, we wonder how these companies, noted in a Globe story, feel:

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead, a trend that, some analysts say, could eventually weigh heavily on the state’s already-stressed budget.

Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employees.

So goes the free market solution.

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