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Posted Nov 18 2008 12:16am

Health Care Systems - WHAT IS A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM?: "There are many kinds of managed care organizations, but there are some common characteristics among them. All managed care organizations supervise the financing of medical care delivered to members. They all are concerned with cost-effectiveness, or saving money. By buying services in bulk, for many members at a time, managed care organizations can get lower prices with doctors and hospitals. Managed care organizations also reduce costs by limiting choice, which means providing members with a list of doctors from which to choose and lists of labs where tests can be performed. Even doctors are provided with lists of medicines from which to choose. Different plans have different restrictions on choice. Many people feel that limited choices are the downside of managed care. Generally, a member can expand the possible choices if he or she is willing to pay more.

At the same time, managed care organizations take care of the delivery system for their members. For example, they manage who provides the health care, where it is provided, and the different kinds of doctors in their particular system. Nurses, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, and hospitals are all a part of the delivery system."

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