New Partnership For Health? Business Groups On Health And Health Systems Agencies
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New Partnership For Health? Business Groups On Health And Health Systems Agencies

  • 12/01/1983

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 98(6):609-615
Filetype[PDF-1.65 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
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    • Description:
      The experience of the Central Massachusetts Health Systems Agency (CMHSA) and the Central Massachusetts Business Group on Health (CMBGH) demonstrates the feasibility of cooperation between HSAs and BGHs. Objectives and strategies of the two groups in carrying out community health planning and working for health systems change are compared. Nearly two decades of government-sponsored community health planning programs, first through comprehensive health planning agencies and then through HSAs, have had less impact than many had anticipated because neither the technical nor political basis for such planning was sufficiently established. The CMHSA experience is typical, although it is credited with developing a hospital systems plan that is based on sound planning methods and statistical data. It is in the implementation of plans that the CMHSA has made slow progress, reflecting its inadequate community power base. The CMBGH, 1 of more than 90 groups that have developed recently across the country to attack high health care costs, was formed in 1981 by business leaders to address these rising costs. The principal strategy adopted by the CMBGH involves fostering a competitive health care market by creating a critical number of competing health plans. The providers in each plan will then have incentives to provide effective care in an efficient manner to keep the premium competitive and attract enrollees. Cooperation between the CMBGH and CMHSA is based on each organization's emphasizing its strengths. The CMHSA's data base and analyses have been the primary resources used by the CMBGH to identify problems. Each organization has developed its own set of goals and objectives, while keeping in mind those of the other organization. The CMBGH adopted a subset of theCMHSA's goals-those that focus on hospital capacity and utilization. Although the CMHSA's regulatory strategies differ greatly from the CMBGH's competition strategies, they do not necessarily conflict. Actually, each organization is supporting the other's strategies without deemphasizing its own. The CMBGH currently has a decisive advantage over the CMHSA in implementing activities because the business leaders are an integral part of the community power structure. Also, their companies' willingness to offer additional health plans to their employees is the prime incentive to develop such plans.
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