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January 1977

Cost Analyses of Alternative Health Examination Modes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medical Methods Research, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute and Permanente Medical Group, Oakland, Calif.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(1):73-79. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630130047012

Health examinations have become an essential service for a health maintenance organization to provide to ambulatory patients for determining their health status and care needs. Three methods were studied for providing health examinations to 6,285 examinees. Compared with the traditional physical examinations customarily provided by physicians, it was determined that either of two alternative systemized modes proved more economical with regard to both physician time and total resource costs for similar patient groups standardized by age, sex, and health status. The most efficient method of providing health examinations to large numbers of people used multiphasic health testing, followed by physical examinations provided by nurse practitioners supervised by physicians; this required 68% less physician time and resulted in a decrease in total examination costs of 30% as compared with traditional examinations.

(Arch Intern Med 137:73-79, 1977)

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