From 1998 to 2001, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston investigated the quality of care that managed-care plans provide to patients with a chronic medical condition compared to that indemnity plans (offering fee-for-service care) provide to such patients.
The study was conducted through an analysis of claims data and a survey of enrollees.
- Managed care did not provide lower quality care to chronically ill patients compared to indemnity plans.
- Patients in managed care were more likely than those in indemnity plans to have visited a primary care physician at least once in any given year; they were less likely to have utilized a hospital emergency department or to have been hospitalized.
- Indemnity patients' higher rate of emergency department use coupled with their lower rates of primary care practitioner use suggests a lower probability of appropriate care patterns.
- Those in managed care plans had overwhelmingly positive perceptions of this type of coverage; conversely, patients in indemnity plans had significantly more negative perceptions of managed care.