Monday, October 8, 2007

Aetna to Provide Managed Care Services to the British National Health Service--Say What?

Aetna has been approved by the British National Health Service (NHS) as one of the suppliers who can provide local Primary Care Trust (PCT) managers "a wide range of support, ranging from specific tasks such as designing medical management programs, also known as demand management, to comprehensive contracting and procurement of services."

Where's Michael Moore? He needs to do an addendum to "Sicko" featuring the new Aetna network manager working with that happy British doctor he interviewed. There goes the neighborhood!

More seriously, we have talked about the "Mid-Atlantic Convergence" before. The national systems that use global budgets have been coming our way for some time as they look to implement many of the managed care techniques we have been using for years--Germany's implementation of DRGs in recent years, for example.

Don't leap to the conclusion that I am arguing that this proves the private market is the only way to manage health care costs. I have long believed that we will see America's health care system move in the direction of Europe just as they move toward us--the "Mid-Atlantic Convergence." It turns out that neither global budgets nor the private market, by themselves, have been able to get it done.

Previous post: "Mid-Atlantic Convergence"--The European Government-Run Health Care Systems Are Coming Our Way!

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