Information Technologies and the Use of Information in Managed Care

How do health maintenance organizations (HMOs) implement and use health information technology (HIT)? Investigators at the University of Minnesota investigated: 1) What has been the role of HIT in shaping the development of the managed care industry over the past two decades? 2) How is HIT currently being used to organize and coordinate work within different model types of MCOs (group, staff, IPA, network, mixed model), and at different levels within individual MCOs? 3) What factors influence the structure of IT in HMOs? And 4) What public policy issues are emerging in relation to the organization and management of HIT in MCOs? The investigators used questions from the InterStudy survey database to examine these issues, as well as telephone surveys of 50 independent information technology vendors and 50 information technology managers within managed care organizations. The objective of the project was to inform policy makers about the role of HIT in managed care organizations, so they can better develop appropriate public policy towards HIT development in the managed care industry in the future.