Prepaid Health Plans: Contracts between an insurer and a subscriber or a group of subscribers whereby a specified set of health benefits is provided in return for a periodic premium.Managed Care Programs: Health insurance plans intended to reduce unnecessary health care costs through a variety of mechanisms, including: economic incentives for physicians and patients to select less costly forms of care; programs for reviewing the medical necessity of specific services; increased beneficiary cost sharing; controls on inpatient admissions and lengths of stay; the establishment of cost-sharing incentives for outpatient surgery; selective contracting with health care providers; and the intensive management of high-cost health care cases. The programs may be provided in a variety of settings, such as HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS and PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS.Health Benefit Plans, Employee: Health insurance plans for employees, and generally including their dependents, usually on a cost-sharing basis with the employer paying a percentage of the premium.Health Status: The level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.Insurance, Health: Insurance providing coverage of medical, surgical, or hospital care in general or for which there is no specific heading.Public Health: Branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and control of disease and disability, and the promotion of physical and mental health of the population on the international, national, state, or municipal level.State Health Plans: State plans prepared by the State Health Planning and Development Agencies which are made up from plans submitted by the Health Systems Agencies and subject to review and revision by the Statewide Health Coordinating Council.Delivery of Health Care: The concept concerned with all aspects of providing and distributing health services to a patient population.Health Maintenance Organizations: Organized systems for providing comprehensive prepaid health care that have five basic attributes: (1) provide care in a defined geographic area; (2) provide or ensure delivery of an agreed-upon set of basic and supplemental health maintenance and treatment services; (3) provide care to a voluntarily enrolled group of persons; (4) require their enrollees to use the services of designated providers; and (5) receive reimbursement through a predetermined, fixed, periodic prepayment made by the enrollee without regard to the degree of services provided. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Health Care Reform: Innovation and improvement of the health care system by reappraisal, amendment of services, and removal of faults and abuses in providing and distributing health services to patients. It includes a re-alignment of health services and health insurance to maximum demographic elements (the unemployed, indigent, uninsured, elderly, inner cities, rural areas) with reference to coverage, hospitalization, pricing and cost containment, insurers' and employers' costs, pre-existing medical conditions, prescribed drugs, equipment, and services.Deductibles and Coinsurance: Cost-sharing mechanisms that provide for payment by the insured of some portion of covered expenses. Deductibles are the amounts paid by the insured under a health insurance contract before benefits become payable; coinsurance is the provision under which the insured pays part of the medical bill, usually according to a fixed percentage, when benefits become payable.Health Care Surveys: Statistical measures of utilization and other aspects of the provision of health care services including hospitalization and ambulatory care.Health Policy: Decisions, usually developed by government policymakers, for determining present and future objectives pertaining to the health care system.Health Planning: Planning for needed health and/or welfare services and facilities.Quality of Health Care: The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.Insurance Selection Bias: Adverse or favorable selection bias exhibited by insurers or enrollees resulting in disproportionate enrollment of certain groups of people.Competitive Medical Plans: Alternative health care delivery mechanisms, such as PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS or other health insurance services or prepaid plans (other than HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS), that meet Medicare qualifications for a risk-sharing contract. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Preferred Provider Organizations: Arrangements negotiated between a third-party payer (often a self-insured company or union trust fund) and a group of health-care providers (hospitals and physicians) who furnish services at lower than usual fees, and, in return, receive prompt payment and an expectation of an increased volume of patients.Health Promotion: Encouraging consumer behaviors most likely to optimize health potentials (physical and psychosocial) through health information, preventive programs, and access to medical care.Health Surveys: A systematic collection of factual data pertaining to health and disease in a human population within a given geographic area.Health Services Accessibility: The degree to which individuals are inhibited or facilitated in their ability to gain entry to and to receive care and services from the health care system. Factors influencing this ability include geographic, architectural, transportational, and financial considerations, among others.Health Services Research: The integration of epidemiologic, sociological, economic, and other analytic sciences in the study of health services. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services. The aim of the research is evaluation, particularly in terms of structure, process, output, and outcome. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Health Care Sector: Economic sector concerned with the provision, distribution, and consumption of health care services and related products.Managed Competition: A strategy for purchasing health care in a manner which will obtain maximum value for the price for the purchasers of the health care and the recipients. The concept was developed primarily by Alain Enthoven of Stanford University and promulgated by the Jackson Hole Group. The strategy depends on sponsors for groups of the population to be insured. The sponsor, in some cases a health alliance, acts as an intermediary between the group and competing provider groups (accountable health plans). The competition is price-based among annual premiums for a defined, standardized benefit package. (From Slee and Slee, Health Care Reform Terms, 1993)Cost Sharing: Provisions of an insurance policy that require the insured to pay some portion of covered expenses. Several forms of sharing are in use, e.g., deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Cost sharing does not refer to or include amounts paid in premiums for the coverage. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Consumer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a benefit or service received.United StatesHealth Expenditures: The amounts spent by individuals, groups, nations, or private or public organizations for total health care and/or its various components. These amounts may or may not be equivalent to the actual costs (HEALTH CARE COSTS) and may or may not be shared among the patient, insurers, and/or employers.Mental Health: The state wherein the person is well adjusted.Medical Savings Accounts: Tax-exempt trusts or custodial accounts established by individuals with financial institutions for saving money for future medical expenses.Primary Health Care: Care which provides integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. (JAMA 1995;273(3):192)Insurance Coverage: Generally refers to the amount of protection available and the kind of loss which would be paid for under an insurance contract with an insurer. (Slee & Slee, Health Care Terms, 2d ed)Health Services: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.Insurance Carriers: Organizations which assume the financial responsibility for the risks of policyholders.Health: The state of the organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease.Attitude to Health: Public attitudes toward health, disease, and the medical care system.Insurance Claim Review: Review of claims by insurance companies to determine liability and amount of payment for various services. The review may also include determination of eligibility of the claimant or beneficiary or of the provider of the benefit; determination that the benefit is covered or not payable under another policy; or determination that the service was necessary and of reasonable cost and quality.Health Services Needs and Demand: Health services required by a population or community as well as the health services that the population or community is able and willing to pay for.Health Behavior: Behaviors expressed by individuals to protect, maintain or promote their health status. For example, proper diet, and appropriate exercise are activities perceived to influence health status. Life style is closely associated with health behavior and factors influencing life style are socioeconomic, educational, and cultural.Insurance Benefits: Payments or services provided under stated circumstances under the terms of an insurance policy. In prepayment programs, benefits are the services the programs will provide at defined locations and to the extent needed.Cost Control: The containment, regulation, or restraint of costs. Costs are said to be contained when the value of resources committed to an activity is not considered excessive. This determination is frequently subjective and dependent upon the specific geographic area of the activity being measured. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Economic Competition: The effort of two or more parties to secure the business of a third party by offering, usually under fair or equitable rules of business practice, the most favorable terms.Delivery of Health Care, Integrated: A health care system which combines physicians, hospitals, and other medical services with a health plan to provide the complete spectrum of medical care for its customers. In a fully integrated system, the three key elements - physicians, hospital, and health plan membership - are in balance in terms of matching medical resources with the needs of purchasers and patients. (Coddington et al., Integrated Health Care: Reorganizing the Physician, Hospital and Health Plan Relationship, 1994, p7)Quality Assurance, Health Care: Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.Capitation Fee: A method of payment for health services in which an individual or institutional provider is paid a fixed, per capita amount without regard to the actual number or nature of services provided to each patient.World Health: The concept pertaining to the health status of inhabitants of the world.Group Purchasing: A shared service which combines the purchasing power of individual organizations or facilities in order to obtain lower prices for equipment and supplies. (From Health Care Terms, 2nd ed)Health Education: Education that increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of health on a personal or community basis.Health Personnel: Men and women working in the provision of health services, whether as individual practitioners or employees of health institutions and programs, whether or not professionally trained, and whether or not subject to public regulation. (From A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, 1976)Quality Indicators, Health Care: Norms, criteria, standards, and other direct qualitative and quantitative measures used in determining the quality of health care.Health Care Rationing: Planning for the equitable allocation, apportionment, or distribution of available health resources.Consumer Participation: Community or individual involvement in the decision-making process.Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice: Knowledge, attitudes, and associated behaviors which pertain to health-related topics such as PATHOLOGIC PROCESSES or diseases, their prevention, and treatment. This term refers to non-health workers and health workers (HEALTH PERSONNEL).National Health Programs: Components of a national health care system which administer specific services, e.g., national health insurance.Oral Health: The optimal state of the mouth and normal functioning of the organs of the mouth without evidence of disease.Mental Health Services: Organized services to provide mental health care.Employer Health Costs: That portion of total HEALTH CARE COSTS borne by an individual's or group's employing organization.Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: An Act prohibiting a health plan from establishing lifetime limits or annual limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary after January 1, 2014. It permits a restricted annual limit for plan years beginning prior to January 1, 2014. It provides that a health plan shall not be prevented from placing annual or lifetime per-beneficiary limits on covered benefits. The Act sets up a competitive health insurance market.Medicaid: Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XIX, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, administered by the states, that provides health care benefits to indigent and medically indigent persons.Patient Acceptance of Health Care: The seeking and acceptance by patients of health service.Public Health Administration: Management of public health organizations or agencies.Insurance, Pharmaceutical Services: Insurance providing for payment of services rendered by the pharmacist. Services include the preparation and distribution of medical products.OregonPreventive Health Services: Services designed for HEALTH PROMOTION and prevention of disease.Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Plans: Prepaid health and hospital insurance plan.Risk Sharing, Financial: Any system which allows payors to share some of the financial risk associated with a particular patient population with providers. Providers agree to adhere to fixed fee schedules in exchange for an increase in their payor base and a chance to benefit from cost containment measures. Common risk-sharing methods are prospective payment schedules (PROSPECTIVE PAYMENT SYSTEM), capitation (CAPITATION FEES), diagnosis-related fees (DIAGNOSIS-RELATED GROUPS), and pre-negotiated fees.Fee-for-Service Plans: Method of charging whereby a physician or other practitioner bills for each encounter or service rendered. In addition to physicians, other health care professionals are reimbursed via this mechanism. Fee-for-service plans contrast with salary, per capita, and prepayment systems, where the payment does not change with the number of services actually used or if none are used. (From Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, 1976)Outcome Assessment (Health Care): Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).Formularies as Topic: Works about lists of drugs or collections of recipes, formulas, and prescriptions for the compounding of medicinal preparations. Formularies differ from PHARMACOPOEIAS in that they are less complete, lacking full descriptions of the drugs, their formulations, analytic composition, chemical properties, etc. In hospitals, formularies list all drugs commonly stocked in the hospital pharmacy.Medicare Part C: The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 establishes a Medicare+Choice program under part C of Title XVIII, Section 4001, of the Social Security Act. Under this program, an eligible individual may elect to receive Medicare benefits through enrollment in a Medicare+Choice plan. Beneficiaries may choose to use private pay options, establish medical savings accounts, use managed care plans, or join provider-sponsored plans.Environmental Health: The science of controlling or modifying those conditions, influences, or forces surrounding man which relate to promoting, establishing, and maintaining health.Child Health Services: Organized services to provide health care for children.Attitude of Health Personnel: Attitudes of personnel toward their patients, other professionals, toward the medical care system, etc.Gatekeeping: The controlling of access to health services, usually by primary care providers; often used in managed care settings to reduce utilization of expensive services and reduce referrals. (From BIOETHICS Thesaurus, 1999)Health Status Disparities: Variation in rates of disease occurrence and disabilities between population groups defined by socioeconomic characteristics such as age, ethnicity, economic resources, or gender and populations identified geographically or similar measures.Occupational Health: The promotion and maintenance of physical and mental health in the work environment.Community Health Services: Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health services provided for individuals in the community.Health Plan Implementation: Those actions designed to carry out recommendations pertaining to health plans or programs.Health Priorities: Preferentially rated health-related activities or functions to be used in establishing health planning goals. This may refer specifically to PL93-641.Public Health Practice: The activities and endeavors of the public health services in a community on any level.Marketing of Health Services: Application of marketing principles and techniques to maximize the use of health care resources.Socioeconomic Factors: Social and economic factors that characterize the individual or group within the social structure.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Women's Health: The concept covering the physical and mental conditions of women.Drug Costs: The amount that a health care institution or organization pays for its drugs. It is one component of the final price that is charged to the consumer (FEES, PHARMACEUTICAL or PRESCRIPTION FEES).Private Sector: That distinct portion of the institutional, industrial, or economic structure of a country that is controlled or owned by non-governmental, private interests.Organizations, Nonprofit: Organizations which are not operated for a profit and may be supported by endowments or private contributions.Rural Health: The status of health in rural populations.Physician Incentive Plans: Compensatory plans designed to motivate physicians in relation to patient referral, physician recruitment, and efficient use of the health facility.Health Literacy: Degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.Reimbursement, Incentive: A scheme which provides reimbursement for the health services rendered, generally by an institution, and which provides added financial rewards if certain conditions are met. Such a scheme is intended to promote and reward increased efficiency and cost containment, with better care, or at least without adverse effect on the quality of the care rendered.Urban Health: The status of health in urban populations.World Health Organization: A specialized agency of the United Nations designed as a coordinating authority on international health work; its aim is to promote the attainment of the highest possible level of health by all peoples.State Government: The level of governmental organization and function below that of the national or country-wide government.Community Health Planning: Planning that has the goals of improving health, improving accessibility to health services, and promoting efficiency in the provision of services and resources on a comprehensive basis for a whole community. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988, p299)Health Care Coalitions: Voluntary groups of people representing diverse interests in the community such as hospitals, businesses, physicians, and insurers, with the principal objective to improve health care cost effectiveness.Health Resources: Available manpower, facilities, revenue, equipment, and supplies to produce requisite health care and services.Group Practice, Prepaid: An organized group of three or more full-time physicians rendering services for a fixed prepayment.Medicare: Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XVIII-Health Insurance for the Aged, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of two separate but coordinated programs: hospital insurance (MEDICARE PART A) and supplementary medical insurance (MEDICARE PART B). (Hospital Administration Terminology, AHA, 2d ed and A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, US House of Representatives, 1976)Insurance, Health, Reimbursement: Payment by a third-party payer in a sum equal to the amount expended by a health care provider or facility for health services rendered to an insured or program beneficiary. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Management Audit: Management review designed to evaluate efficiency and to identify areas in need of management improvement within the institution in order to ensure effectiveness in meeting organizational goals.Fees and Charges: Amounts charged to the patient as payer for health care services.Health Insurance Exchanges: State-provided health insurance marketplaces established under the PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.Rural Health Services: Health services, public or private, in rural areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.Independent Practice Associations: A partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity that enters into an arrangement for the provision of services with persons who are licensed to practice medicine, osteopathy, and dentistry, and with other care personnel. Under an IPA arrangement, licensed professional persons provide services through the entity in accordance with a mutually accepted compensation arrangement, while retaining their private practices. Services under the IPA are marketed through a prepaid health plan. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Decision Making, Organizational: The process by which decisions are made in an institution or other organization.CaliforniaHealth Facilities: Institutions which provide medical or health-related services.Regional Health Planning: Planning for health resources at a regional or multi-state level.Cost Savings: Reductions in all or any portion of the costs of providing goods or services. Savings may be incurred by the provider or the consumer.MassachusettsContract Services: Outside services provided to an institution under a formal financial agreement.Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: Public Law 104-91 enacted in 1996, was designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system, protect health insurance coverage for workers and their families, and to protect individual personal health information.Electronic Health Records: Media that facilitate transportability of pertinent information concerning patient's illness across varied providers and geographic locations. Some versions include direct linkages to online consumer health information that is relevant to the health conditions and treatments related to a specific patient.Health Manpower: The availability of HEALTH PERSONNEL. It includes the demand and recruitment of both professional and allied health personnel, their present and future supply and distribution, and their assignment and utilization.Physicians: Individuals licensed to practice medicine.National Health Insurance, United StatesPolitics: Activities concerned with governmental policies, functions, etc.WashingtonModels, Econometric: The application of mathematical formulas and statistical techniques to the testing and quantifying of economic theories and the solution of economic problems.Pharmaceutical Services: Total pharmaceutical services provided by qualified PHARMACISTS. In addition to the preparation and distribution of medical products, they may include consultative services provided to agencies and institutions which do not have a qualified pharmacist.Costs and Cost Analysis: Absolute, comparative, or differential costs pertaining to services, institutions, resources, etc., or the analysis and study of these costs.Drug Utilization Review: Formal programs for assessing drug prescription against some standard. Drug utilization review may consider clinical appropriateness, cost effectiveness, and, in some cases, outcomes. Review is usually retrospective, but some analysis may be done before drugs are dispensed (as in computer systems which advise physicians when prescriptions are entered). Drug utilization review is mandated for Medicaid programs beginning in 1993.Federal Government: The level of governmental organization and function at the national or country-wide level.Benchmarking: Method of measuring performance against established standards of best practice.Reimbursement Mechanisms: Processes or methods of reimbursement for services rendered or equipment.Technology, High-Cost: Advanced technology that is costly, requires highly skilled personnel, and is unique in its particular application. Includes innovative, specialized medical/surgical procedures as well as advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care): Evaluation procedures that focus on both the outcome or status (OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT) of the patient at the end of an episode of care - presence of symptoms, level of activity, and mortality; and the process (ASSESSMENT, PROCESS) - what is done for the patient diagnostically and therapeutically.Interviews as Topic: Conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews.Ownership: The legal relation between an entity (individual, group, corporation, or-profit, secular, government) and an object. The object may be corporeal, such as equipment, or completely a creature of law, such as a patent; it may be movable, such as an animal, or immovable, such as a building.Employee Retirement Income Security Act: A 1974 Federal act which preempts states' rights with regard to workers' pension benefits and employee benefits. It does not affect the benefits and rights of employees whose employer is self-insured. (From Slee & Slee, Health Care Reform Terms, 1993)Drugs, Generic: Drugs whose drug name is not protected by a trademark. They may be manufactured by several companies.Program Evaluation: Studies designed to assess the efficacy of programs. They may include the evaluation of cost-effectiveness, the extent to which objectives are met, or impact.Choice Behavior: The act of making a selection among two or more alternatives, usually after a period of deliberation.Community Health Centers: Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to people living in a community or neighborhood.Consumer Advocacy: The promotion and support of consumers' rights and interests.Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.Utilization Review: An organized procedure carried out through committees to review admissions, duration of stay, professional services furnished, and to evaluate the medical necessity of those services and promote their most efficient use.Catchment Area (Health): A geographic area defined and served by a health program or institution.Information Services: Organized services to provide information on any questions an individual might have using databases and other sources. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Organizational Case Studies: Descriptions and evaluations of specific health care organizations.Women's Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to women. It excludes maternal care services for which MATERNAL HEALTH SERVICES is available.Social Responsibility: The obligations and accountability assumed in carrying out actions or ideas on behalf of others.Patient Satisfaction: The degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial.Health Care Costs: The actual costs of providing services related to the delivery of health care, including the costs of procedures, therapies, and medications. It is differentiated from HEALTH EXPENDITURES, which refers to the amount of money paid for the services, and from fees, which refers to the amount charged, regardless of cost.Disease Management: A broad approach to appropriate coordination of the entire disease treatment process that often involves shifting away from more expensive inpatient and acute care to areas such as preventive medicine, patient counseling and education, and outpatient care. This concept includes implications of appropriate versus inappropriate therapy on the overall cost and clinical outcome of a particular disease. (From Hosp Pharm 1995 Jul;30(7):596)Organizational Objectives: The purposes, missions, and goals of an individual organization or its units, established through administrative processes. It includes an organization's long-range plans and administrative philosophy.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Provider-Sponsored Organizations: Entities sponsored by local hospitals, physician groups, and other licensed providers which are affiliated through common ownership or control and share financial risk whose purpose is to deliver health care services.Efficiency, Organizational: The capacity of an organization, institution, or business to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, personnel, materiel, etc.Financing, Personal: Payment by individuals or their family for health care services which are not covered by a third-party payer, either insurance or medical assistance.Poverty: A situation in which the level of living of an individual, family, or group is below the standard of the community. It is often related to a specific income level.Group Practice: Any group of three or more full-time physicians organized in a legally recognized entity for the provision of health care services, sharing space, equipment, personnel and records for both patient care and business management, and who have a predetermined arrangement for the distribution of income.Social Justice: An interactive process whereby members of a community are concerned for the equality and rights of all.Fees, Pharmaceutical: Amounts charged to the patient or third-party payer for medication. It includes the pharmacist's professional fee and cost of ingredients, containers, etc.Policy Making: The decision process by which individuals, groups or institutions establish policies pertaining to plans, programs or procedures.Public Health Nursing: A nursing specialty concerned with promoting and protecting the health of populations, using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences to develop local, regional, state, and national health policy and research. It is population-focused and community-oriented, aimed at health promotion and disease prevention through educational, diagnostic, and preventive programs.Maternal Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to expectant and nursing mothers.Cost-Benefit Analysis: A method of comparing the cost of a program with its expected benefits in dollars (or other currency). The benefit-to-cost ratio is a measure of total return expected per unit of money spent. This analysis generally excludes consideration of factors that are not measured ultimately in economic terms. Cost effectiveness compares alternative ways to achieve a specific set of results.Health Occupations: Professions or other business activities directed to the cure and prevention of disease. For occupations of medical personnel who are not physicians but who are working in the fields of medical technology, physical therapy, etc., ALLIED HEALTH OCCUPATIONS is available.Cooperative Behavior: The interaction of two or more persons or organizations directed toward a common goal which is mutually beneficial. An act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit, i.e., joint action. (From Random House Dictionary Unabridged, 2d ed)Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Reproductive Health: The physical condition of human reproductive systems.For-Profit Insurance Plans: Health insurance plans that are intended to be for profit.Contracts: Agreements between two or more parties, especially those that are written and enforceable by law (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). It is sometimes used to characterize the nature of the professional-patient relationship.Insurance Pools: An organization of insurers or reinsurers through which particular types of risk are shared or pooled. The risk of high loss by a particular insurance company is transferred to the group as a whole (the insurance pool) with premiums, losses, and expenses shared in agreed amounts.Budgets: Detailed financial plans for carrying out specific activities for a certain period of time. They include proposed income and expenditures.MinnesotaChronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Hospitals, Voluntary: Private, not-for-profit hospitals that are autonomous, self-established, and self-supported.Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Hospital-Physician Joint Ventures: A formal financial agreement made between one or more physicians and a hospital to provide ambulatory alternative services to those patients who do not require hospitalization.Mental Disorders: Psychiatric illness or diseases manifested by breakdowns in the adaptational process expressed primarily as abnormalities of thought, feeling, and behavior producing either distress or impairment of function.Databases, Factual: Extensive collections, reputedly complete, of facts and data garnered from material of a specialized subject area and made available for analysis and application. The collection can be automated by various contemporary methods for retrieval. The concept should be differentiated from DATABASES, BIBLIOGRAPHIC which is restricted to collections of bibliographic references.Occupational Health Services: Health services for employees, usually provided by the employer at the place of work.Mass Screening: Organized periodic procedures performed on large groups of people for the purpose of detecting disease.Healthcare Disparities: Differences in access to or availability of medical facilities and services.Program Development: The process of formulating, improving, and expanding educational, managerial, or service-oriented work plans (excluding computer program development).Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Universal Coverage: Health insurance coverage for all persons in a state or country, rather than for some subset of the population. It may extend to the unemployed as well as to the employed; to aliens as well as to citizens; for pre-existing conditions as well as for current illnesses; for mental as well as for physical conditions.Competitive Bidding: Pricing statements presented by more than one party for the purpose of securing a contract.Needs Assessment: Systematic identification of a population's needs or the assessment of individuals to determine the proper level of services needed.Insurance Claim Reporting: The design, completion, and filing of forms with the insurer.Privatization: Process of shifting publicly controlled services and/or facilities to the private sector.Medically Uninsured: Individuals or groups with no or inadequate health insurance coverage. Those falling into this category usually comprise three primary groups: the medically indigent (MEDICAL INDIGENCY); those whose clinical condition makes them medically uninsurable; and the working uninsured.Data Collection: Systematic gathering of data for a particular purpose from various sources, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, existing records, and electronic devices. The process is usually preliminary to statistical analysis of the data.Health Services for the Aged: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the aged and the maintenance of health in the elderly.Health Facility Merger: The combining of administrative and organizational resources of two or more health care facilities.Decision Making: The process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea.Health Services Administration: The organization and administration of health services dedicated to the delivery of health care.Interinstitutional Relations: The interactions between representatives of institutions, agencies, or organizations.Public Health Informatics: The systematic application of information and computer sciences to public health practice, research, and learning.National Institutes of Health (U.S.): An operating division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It is concerned with the overall planning, promoting, and administering of programs pertaining to health and medical research. Until 1995, it was an agency of the United States PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.Financing, Government: Federal, state, or local government organized methods of financial assistance.Ethnic Groups: A group of people with a common cultural heritage that sets them apart from others in a variety of social relationships.Cost of Illness: The personal cost of acute or chronic disease. The cost to the patient may be an economic, social, or psychological cost or personal loss to self, family, or immediate community. The cost of illness may be reflected in absenteeism, productivity, response to treatment, peace of mind, or QUALITY OF LIFE. It differs from HEALTH CARE COSTS, meaning the societal cost of providing services related to the delivery of health care, rather than personal impact on individuals.Ambulatory Care: Health care services provided to patients on an ambulatory basis, rather than by admission to a hospital or other health care facility. The services may be a part of a hospital, augmenting its inpatient services, or may be provided at a free-standing facility.Total Quality Management: The application of industrial management practice to systematically maintain and improve organization-wide performance. Effectiveness and success are determined and assessed by quantitative quality measures.Fees, Medical: Amounts charged to the patient as payer for medical services.Organizational Policy: A course or method of action selected, usually by an organization, institution, university, society, etc., from among alternatives to guide and determine present and future decisions and positions on matters of public interest or social concern. It does not include internal policy relating to organization and administration within the corporate body, for which ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION is available.