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March 11, 1992

Can Physicians Manage the Quality and Costs of Health Care? The Story of The Permanente Medical Group

Author Affiliations

Abilene (Tex) Christian University

JAMA. 1992;267(10):1399-1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480100109043

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Many professionals in health and medicine who are concerned with mounting problems in the provision of medical care will find much of interest in this volume. It presents the response of Henry J. Kaiser, the great corporate contractor, to the challenges he confronted on the western industrial frontier that ushered in a lasting revolution in the provision of medical care. The author, John G. Smillie, MD, spent many years directing parts of the program he describes and has produced a book that will undoubtedly become the standard treatment of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Plan. Innovative methods in the delivery of medical care were nothing new when what became the foundation for the Kaiser Medical Program took shape in the 1930s. The federal government had introduced a prepayment program for merchant seamen in the late 18th century. Contract medical service reached back to the colonial era and gained a firm urban