Objectives. We assessed the ability of managed care gatekeeping strategies (i.e., requiring a designated primary care provider to authorize referrals) to control health care costs in the mid-1990s. Methods. We analyzed expenditure data from 8195 privately insured adults sampled in the nationally representative 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Managed care gatekeeping plan encollees included those in health maintenance organizations and other plans requiring a primary care gatekeeper. All others were considered indemnity plan enrollees. Results. In 1996, total per capita annual health expenditures for adult gatekeeping enrollees were about $50 less than those of indemnity enrollees, primarily owing to lower out-of-pocket expenditures. After multivariate adjustment, mean per capita expenditures were approximately 6% lower for gatekeeping enrollees than for indemnity enrollees. Conclusions. In the private sector, gatekeeping strategies resulted in modest cost savings over indemnity plans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health