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HMOs AND ORGANIZED HEALTH SYSTEMS POISED TO PLAY MAJOR ROLE IN NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM

 HMOs AND ORGANIZED HEALTH SYSTEMS POISED TO PLAY MAJOR ROLE
 IN NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM
 /ADVANCE/ MINNEAPOLIS, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- "In the next century, most Americans will get their health care in an HMO or HMO- like system," observed incoming Group Health Association of America (GHAA) Chairman Samuel H. Havens today at the opening session of the Group Health Institute in Minneapolis. The GHAA Institute is the premier annual meeting of leaders of the HMO and organized care sector of the nation's health care industry.
 In remarks to more than 2,000 national health care leaders, Havens noted that the majority of current health reform proposals build on the proven strengths of organized health care systems like HMOs. He urged industry leaders to recognize the power of their proven record in financing and delivering comprehensive, cost- effective, high-quality health care.
 According to Havens, HMOs have already prompted change elsewhere in the health care system, having been in the forefront of raising awareness about unnecessary surgeries and tests, the prudent use of hospital days and the value of prevention.
 "Amid the mounting interest in quality improvement, it is in our organized systems that a workable approach to managing health care has been pioneered," concluded Havens.
 Observing that much of the current U.S. health reform debate focuses on costs alone, Havens challenged reformers to recognize that cost, quality and access are intertwined. "If we frame the reform issue in terms of costs alone, the American public loses," Havens noted. "Strong health care systems like ours are essential to the workings of any national approach."
 More Americans are choosing the HMO option. Enrollment in the nation's 550 HMOs now exceeds 38.6 million, having grown by 2.2 million members in 1991 alone. At year end 1991, 15 percent of the total population and 18 percent of insured Americans were enrolled in HMOs across 46 states. A 1991 employee survey by Towers Perrin found that 89 percent of those in HMOs and managed care plans were satisfied with their coverage, versus 84 percent in traditional plans.
 HMOs and similar managed care options offer a proven model for addressing critical features of health care as an integrated whole. They provide more comprehensive benefits with low out-of-pocket costs.
 In addition to serving as GHAA chairman, Havens is senior vice president of The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
 GHAA is the nation's largest and oldest trade association representing HMOs and other similar managed health care systems.
 -0- 6/8/92/1000
 /CONTACT: Susan Pisano of the Group Health Association of America, 612-335-6887/ CO: Group Health Association of America ST: Minnesota IN: HEA SU:


MH -- DC006 -- 7362 06/05/92 09:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 5, 1992
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