February 1998

Assessing Quality and Utilization Patterns in Health Care Delivery Systems

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(2):234-235. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.2.234

MEDICINE IS an uncertain art. With current literature ranging from Wennberg's1 pioneering work on large variations in rates of procedures in different geographic areas to the work of Chassin and associates2 on inappropriate surgical procedures, it is accepted that care and utilization patterns vary tremendously. While millions of Americans lack access to adequate care, others receive unnecessary or inappropriate care. The explosion of for-profit, prepaid health care (managed care) systems has exacerbated the situation and generated concerns about the quality of care provided. Indeed, there are more questions and issues about managed care and how delivery systems provide care than there are answers.3

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