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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



An Examination of the Growth and Development of Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations

Faced with increasing health care costs, coupled with an elderly population numbering 33 million by the year 2000, the federal government is seeking alternative, cost-effective health care alternatives for the Medicare program. One proposal to contain the medical costs of this population is to encourage them to join health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

This report seeks to examine the current trend of encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to join HMOs. By examining the most significant factors which caused sluggish growth in the Medicare HMO program from 1987 to 1992, and the factors which allowed for increased growth between 1992 and 1995, a greater understanding of the Medicare HMO program will be gained. In addition, data obtained from Medicare HMO executives in Texas during telephone interviews, aided in the formation of policy recommendations for continued growth and success of the Medicare HMO program.

-- Author's foreword.