Mediation and Managed Care
Dubler, Nancy Neveloff
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 1998 Mar; 46(3): 359-364.
Managed care has not only intensified existing conflicts between patient and provider, it has, by its very nature, changed the shape and scope of the healthcare enterprise and introduced an entirely new set of disputes. The decision-making dynamics have been altered, and the cast of players has expanded. Traditionally, the therapeutic interaction took place between the physician and the patient although it occasionally included the patient's family. Whatever obligations existed, such as fidelity, confidentiality, and standard of care, they bound only those parties. Now, as the managed care organization has interposed itself between the patient and the physician, the dyad has become a triad. The power balance has shifted, and a new set of rights and responsibilities now flows between and among the players, each of whom has interests that may or may not coincide. This article argues that, because of its cost containment origins and orientation, managed care increases the likelihood that misunderstandings, disagreements and disputes will develop into full-blown conflicts. If managed care is to succeed financially and operate with integrity, it must develop techniques for managing the increasing conflicts that arise inevitably between and among the organizations, physicians, and patients. It is clear that the voice of the patient needs to be strengthened within the new complex decision-making, review, and appeal procedures. Mediation is the most appropriate method of dispute resolution for the managed care setting because it balances the disparities in power endemic to the bureaucratization of medicine and refocuses the interests of the various parties. Using bioethics consultation as a model for dispute mediation provides a set of principles and guideline tasks that can be applied effectively to managed care.
Bioethics; Communication; Confidentiality; Conflict of Interest; Containment; Consent; Consultation; Decision Making; Disclosure; Dissent; Due Process; Economics; Ethics; Ethics Consultation; Health; Health Care; Health Insurance; Informed Consent; Insurance; Managed Care Programs; Mediation; Medicine; Managed Care; Nature; Organizational Policies; Organizations; Patient Advocacy; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Power; Regulation; Review; Rights; Responsibilities; Standards;
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