October 1995 Bulletin

Seniors fear loss of own doctor in Medicare HMO

The most significant obstacle toward wider acceptance of managed care among Medicare beneficiaries is the prospect of losing one's own doctor, according to a new report that summarizes the findings of focus groups held in eight cities for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The greatest concerns of those not in managed care plans focused on restrictions on choice of physicians and perceived lower quality of care in health maintenance organizations.

Overall, the focus groups revealed a general lack of information about Medicare managed care among seniors currently covered under the traditional Medicare fee-for- about HMO coverage under Medicare, many of these seniors expressed disbelief that managed care could provide full, quality coverage for nominal payments.

The 14 focus groups were conducted in Boston; Miami; St. Louis; Minneapolis; Baltimore; Columbus; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Irvine, Ga.

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