What Does the Future Hold for Public Health in a Managed Care Environment?

The Center for Health Leadership/Western Consortium of Public Health, Oakland, Calif., (now based at the Public Health Institute) carried two workshops that were sponsored by the Public Health Leadership Society during 1996.

The purpose of these workshops was to provide a forum to discuss and debate the future relationships between managed care organizations and governmental public health agencies and the consequences of those relationships for public health at the local level.

Key Results

  • The first workshop, "Visioning the Future of Public Health in a Managed Care Environment," took place in November 1995 during the Society's annual meeting and was attended by 150 governmental public health leaders.

    Participants in the workshop discussed five scenarios that had been developed to describe how core public health functions might be delivered in the future. These discussions among participants generated a range of future visions and short-term strategic options for public health.

  • The second workshop was held in April 1996 and broadened the participation in these discussions to include representatives from community-based organizations, health care providers, academic institutions, and purchasers of health care.

    The 40 leaders who participated reviewed two new scenarios in addition to the original five from the previous workshop.

  • A report was published by the grantee, Exploring Alternative Futures: Leadership for Improved Community Health, and was disseminated to more than 3,000 individuals. The report summarized the workshop discussions and can be used to facilitate similar visioning workshops at the local community level.