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capitation, disease management, health care costs, health maintenance organization, health status, management information system, medical informatics, physician practice patterns, provider-sponsored organization, risk assessment, risk contracting



  1. Braun, Peter MD
  2. Caper, Philip MD


Information systems needed for managing the health care of populations under at-risk (capitation) contracts must be designed differently than those used in fee-for-service practice. Under capitation, providers must deliver health care to enrollees with financial resources that are fixed in advance. Therefore, the information systems they use must enable them to understand the health status of health plan enrollees and how health care is provided. These systems should facilitate the detection of underservice and of inadequate quality of health care as well as overuse of health care resources. They should permit clinical-epidemiologic and statistical analysis; facilitate disease management and the adoption of preventive programs, and lend themselves to use by planners, group leaders, and practicing physicians.