What Happens to Quality When Physicians are in Charge?

Research on physician participation on the governing of publicly-traded managed care companies

Between 1997 and 1998, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, carried out a study exploring whether physician participation in shaping corporate policy in for-profit managed care companies has a positive impact on patient care.

Key Findings

Among the preliminary findings reported to RWJF:

  • Of the 21 companies, 17 have at least one physician on their board of directors.
  • Among the nine companies that provided data on the presence of physicians among upper-level management, five had physician board members who doubled as senior executives, such as a senior vice president or a corporate medical director.
  • In five companies, a physician served as chief executive officer.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $25,007 between March 1997 and March 1998.

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