The High Price of Health
For the Consumer

How to Challenge Your Plan
From an expert here's a primer on preparation and strategy to help make the grievance and appeal process go smoothly and quickly.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization
Click on 'General Public' to find advice on choosing health plans as well as other kinds of health services such as ambulatory care, home care, hospitals, long-term care, substance abuse help, mental health serices, and child/adolescent services. There's also a place on this site for registering complaints against accredited healthcare providers.

Choosing a Health Plan
The American Association of Health Plans offers easy-to-understand guidance on what to look for in an HMO and questions to ask about physicians, coverage of chronic conditions, costs, your own health status, services, etc. This organization for the HMO industry also offers in their "Research & Library" studies and articles about the benefits of managed care (such as its encouragement of preventive medicine) and how quality of care has improved treatment in certain disease categories (compared to fee-for-service).

California Consumer Healthscope
Even if you're not a California resident this is another useful, common sense guide on choosing a HMO health plan.

Managed Care: A Consumer's Guide
From the American Association of Retired Persons
Another good resource. Offers 'Ten Important Features to Consider in Considering an HMO" plus checklists to compare managed care plans, AARP's views on consumer protections needed for HMOs, information on managed care vs. traditional insurance, etc.

Eye on Patients Report
by the American Hospital Association and the Picker Institute
A report on the state of patient satisfaction in1996 with health care plans, hospitals, clinics, and doctors. The goal was to evaluate what is and isn't working for patients, why, and how things can be improved.

 

 
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