(1/754) A taxonomy of health networks and systems: bringing order out of chaos.

OBJECTIVE: To use existing theory and data for empirical development of a taxonomy that identifies clusters of organizations sharing common strategic/structural features. DATA SOURCES: Data from the 1994 and 1995 American Hospital Association Annual Surveys, which provide extensive data on hospital involvement in hospital-led health networks and systems. STUDY DESIGN: Theories of organization behavior and industrial organization economics were used to identify three strategic/structural dimensions: differentiation, which refers to the number of different products/services along a healthcare continuum; integration, which refers to mechanisms used to achieve unity of effort across organizational components; and centralization, which relates to the extent to which activities take place at centralized versus dispersed locations. These dimensions were applied to three components of the health service/product continuum: hospital services, physician arrangements, and provider-based insurance activities. DATA EXTRACTION METHODS: We identified 295 health systems and 274 health networks across the United States in 1994, and 297 health systems and 306 health networks in 1995 using AHA data. Empirical measures aggregated individual hospital data to the health network and system level. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified a reliable, internally valid, and stable four-cluster solution for health networks and a five-cluster solution for health systems. We found that differentiation and centralization were particularly important in distinguishing unique clusters of organizations. High differentiation typically occurred with low centralization, which suggests that a broader scope of activity is more difficult to centrally coordinate. Integration was also important, but we found that health networks and systems typically engaged in both ownership-based and contractual-based integration or they were not integrated at all. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we were able to classify approximately 70 percent of hospital-led health networks and 90 percent of hospital-led health systems into well-defined organizational clusters. Given the widespread perception that organizational change in healthcare has been chaotic, our research suggests that important and meaningful similarities exist across many evolving organizations. The resulting taxonomy provides a new lexicon for researchers, policymakers, and healthcare executives for characterizing key strategic and structural features of evolving organizations. The taxonomy also provides a framework for future inquiry about the relationships between organizational strategy, structure, and performance, and for assessing policy issues, such as Medicare Provider Sponsored Organizations, antitrust, and insurance regulation.  (+info)

(2/754) Latino children's health and the family-community health promotion model.

A majority of Latino children in the US live in poverty. However, unlike other poor children, Latino children do not seem to have a consistent association between poverty and poor health. Instead, many poor Latino children have unexpectedly good health outcomes. This has been labeled an epidemiologic paradox. This paper proposes a new model of health, the family-community health promotion model, to account for this paradox. The family-community health promotion model emphasizes the family-community milieu of the child, in contrast to traditional models of health. In addition, the family-community model expands the outcome measures from physical health to functional health status, and underscores the contribution of cultural factors to functional health outcomes. In this paper, we applied the family-community health promotion model to four health outcomes: low birthweight, infant mortality, chronic and acute illness, and perceived health status. The implications of this model for research and policy are discussed.  (+info)

(3/754) The relationship and tensions between vertical integrated delivery systems and horizontal specialty networks.

This activity is designated for physicians, medical directors, and healthcare policy makers. GOAL: To clarify the issues involved with the integration of single-specialty networks into vertical integrated healthcare delivery systems. OBJECTIVES: 1. Recognize the advantages that single-specialty networks offer under capitated medical care. 2. Understand the self-interests and tensions involved in integrating these networks into vertical networks of primary care physicians, hospitals, and associated specialists. 3. Understand the rationale of "stacking" horizontal networks within a vertical system.  (+info)

(4/754) Hospitals and managed care: catching up with the networks.

Although the growth of managed care is having a significant impact on hospitals, organizational response to managed care remains fragmented. We conducted a survey of 83 hospitals nationwide that indicated that most hospitals now have at least one person devoted to managed care initiatives. These individuals, however, often spend most of their time on current issues, such as contracting with managed care organizations and physician relations. Concerns for the future, such as network development and marketing, although important, receive less immediate attention form these individuals. Hospital managed care executives must take a more proactive role in long range managed care planning by collaborating with managed care organizations and pharmaceutical companies.  (+info)

(5/754) Transformation of ministries of health in the era of health reform: the case of Colombia.

Ministries of health are being called upon to lead major health reforms; at the same time they must reform themselves to become more modern institutions and assume new and different functions and roles in the more dynamic reformed system. The literature on public administration and on health reform has recommended many processes of institutional reform and development, building on private sector management techniques, popularized by 'reinventing government' and 'total quality management'. More recently, thoughtful insights have emphasized improving public management through a focus on creating 'public value'; on political, as well as administrative, leadership; improving institutional performance through strengthening the 'task networks' of organizations needed to achieve strategic objectives; and creating a learning culture within the organization. This article applies these recent approaches to the specific needs of ministries of health in order to improve their capacity to lead major health reforms. This combined approach is then used to analyze and make recommendations to the Ministry of Health in Colombia where the authors were providing technical support for a major new health reform.  (+info)

(6/754) Massachusetts Medicaid and the Community Medical Alliance: a new approach to contracting and care delivery for Medicaid-eligible populations with AIDS and severe physical disability.

This paper discusses the origins and experiences of the Community Medical Alliance (CMA), a Boston-based clinical care system that contracts with the Massachusetts Medicaid program on a fully capitated basis to pay for and deliver a comprehensive set of benefits to individuals with advanced AIDS and individuals with severe disability. Since 1992, the program has enrolled 818 individuals with either severe disability, AIDS, mental retardation, or general SSI-qualifying disability. Under a fee-for-service system, these two groups had received fragmented care. The capitated CMA program emphasizes patient education and self-management strategies, social support and mental health services, and a team approach to healthcare delivery that has reoriented care to primary care physicians, homes, and communities.  (+info)

(7/754) Community education for stroke awareness: An efficacy study.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study examined the effectiveness of a slide/audio community education program aimed at increasing knowledge of stroke risk factors, stroke warning signs, and action needed when stroke warning signs occur. The program targets audiences at higher risk for stroke, especially individuals who are black or >50 years of age. METHODS: Subjects were 657 adults living in the community or in senior independent-living settings. The study examined the effectiveness of the program when presented alone and when accompanied by discussion (facilitation) led by a trained individual. Knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs was assessed using parallel pretests and posttests developed and validated specifically for the study. RESULTS: ANCOVA indicated that neither pretesting nor facilitation had a significant effect on posttest measures of knowledge. Paired t tests of groups receiving both the pretest and posttest demonstrated significant increase in knowledge (mean increase, 10.87%; P<0.001). ANCOVA indicated that these gains in knowledge were similar across subjects of different sex, race, age, and educational level. No significant differences could be ascribed to facilitation. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that the slide/audio program is effective in increasing knowledge of stroke risk factors, warning signs, and necessary action in subjects of varying ages, races, and education. Pretesting and facilitation did not significantly affect the short-term acquisition of information. The slide/audio program appears to offer a short, easily used educational experience for diverse communities, whether as a stand-alone program or with facilitated discussion.  (+info)

(8/754) Outcome of long stay psychiatric patients resettled in the community: prospective cohort study.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the outcome of a population of long stay psychiatric patients resettled in the community. DESIGN: Prospective study with 5 year follow up. SETTING: Over 140 residential settings in north London. SUBJECTS: 670 long stay patients from two London hospitals (Friern and Claybury) discharged to the community from 1985 to 1993. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Continuity and quality of residential care, readmission to hospital, mortality, crime, and vagrancy. RESULTS: Of the 523 patients who survived the 5 year follow up period, 469 (89.6%) were living in the community by the end of follow up, 310 (59.2%) in their original community placement. A third (210) of all patients were readmitted at least once. Crime and homelessness presented few problems. Standardised mortality ratios for the group were comparable with those reported for similar populations. CONCLUSIONS: When carefully planned and adequately resourced, community care for long stay psychiatric patients is beneficial to most individuals and has minimal detrimental effects on society.  (+info)