Measuring Physician Contribution to the Healthcare Safety Net Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

There are an estimated 46 million Americans without health insurance and many more for which health insurance does not cover all necessary medical services. These individuals and families have to rely more on government programs and the willingness of physicians to provide uncompensated services most often described as providers of charity. Previous studies have shown a tendency to decrease in the percentage of physicians willing or able to provide charitable assistance. We extend this research by examining the results of a survey of medical cost management group medical practices of the Association of the Group for 2005, 2006 and 2007. It is important to examine the uncompensated care reported medical group because groups have policies that can regulate how much, if any, to the charitable help of their physicians provide. This survey data show that in a variety of medical practices providing charity care continues to decline. Results and analysis of the survey data show that the uncompensated (charity) care provided less than half of the medical practice, and in less than 2% of the total cost. We reviewed the potential explanatory variables: population density, practice size, specialty physician practice, practice ownership structure, payer mix, and practice financial performance. The results were consistent in all categories; charity is declining. These results are of great importance both for the policy of the federal government and all state governments, especially in light of the current economic downturn and the proposed health care reform legislation. "Hide
by Lawrence M. Metzger, Stephen Andes, David N. Gans, James W. Margolis Source: Business Horizons 11 pages. Publication Date: March 15, 2010. Prod. #: BH380-PDF-ENG

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