Meet Ms Managed Care

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 13 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:623
  1. David Woods

    Managed care in the United States is under attack from politicians, the press, doctors, and the public. Karen Ignagni tells David Woods how she is trying to improve its image

    Karen Ignagni sees herself as a consensus builder

    Karen Ignagni heads an organisation that is one of the most visible and vulnerable in Washington—visible because it represents about a thousand managed care companies, and vulnerable because managed care is under constant attack from politicians and the media.

    Managed care is a system of fixed prepayment for comprehensive healthcare coverage in which the companies providing it control costs by curbing use. Another definition is that it is the application of standard business practices to the delivery of health care in the best—or, depending on your point of view, the worst—traditions of untrammelled American free enterprise. More than 140 million Americans are now covered by some kind of managed care arrangemen

    Karen Ignagni might reasonably lay claim to the title Ms Managed Care. As executive director of the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP), she handles both the high profile and the low esteem of her industry with grace and diplomacy. During the summer …

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