Motivated by the need for fundamental change, reform of the health care delivery system is continuing despite the recent failure of national initiatives. One aspect of this reform is the restructuring of managed care systems to include low-income, at-risk populations in their health delivery programs. It is a move that threatens current "safety-net" providers, which already serve these populations with programs that combine public health and traditional primary care. This paper explores this potential conflict by providing a brief history and comparison of the main features of the community-oriented primary care (COPC) and health maintenance organization (HMO) models. The authors provide a framework that contrasts the structure, process, and outcome characteristics of these two models, delineating key similarities and differences. The framework is used in profiling a service delivery system model that integrates the two systems and in discussing issues related to operationalizing the proposed integration.


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pp. 36-55
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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