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Understanding the Alphabet Soup of Managed Care Integrated Delivery Systems
Ira S. Moscovice, Professor, Division of Health Services Research and
Policy, University of Minnesota.
This session provided information on the development of rural health networks and integrated delivery systems and policy
issues associated with network development in rural areas. Drawing upon the results of a recent national survey of such
networks, Ira Moscovice of the University of Minnesota described the characteristics of these networks, including the
nature of the collaborative/integrating activities in which provider members of these rural networks are involved.
addition to collaborative activities within networks, Dr. Moscovice also stated that 20 percent of reporting rural health networks
held contract with health maintenance
organizations (HMOs), while a similar percentage contracted directly with self-insured employers.
Among the conclusions that Dr. Moscovice shared with participants were that most rural health networks were relatively
young organizations that to date have focused most of their collaborative energies on organizational or administrative
development. These networks are not yet highly integrated either clinically or functionally, although some do share risk
through joint ventures. They have only begun to cooperate on substantive programs that may enhance the effectiveness of
their members or the well-being of the communities they serve.
Rural Health Networks: Forms & Functions. Minneapolis, MN: Rural Health
Research Center, Division of Health Services Research and Policy, School of Public
Health. University of Minnesota, 1007.
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