UAMS Professor’s Article Among Health Affairs’ Most Read for 2004

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – An article on rising health care costs co-authored by an associate professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was among the 10 most read online in 2004 by readers of the health policy journal Health Affairs.


Glen P. Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor and director of research for the Department of Health Policy and Management in the UAMS College of Public Health, was the lead author of “Managed Care Rebound? Recent Changes in Health Plans’ Cost Containment Strategies,” the tenth most frequently-viewed article as ranked by Health Affairs magazine in its 25 Most-Read Articles of 2004. The article attracted 14,691 page views since it was posted as a Web exclusive on Aug. 11, according to the magazine.


Mays and two colleagues analyzed interviews conducted through the Community Tracking Study (CTS) site visits, which monitor health care markets in 12 representative metropolitan areas across the country every two years. The Little Rock metropolitan area was one of the 12 areas.

Based on interviews with providers, insurers, employers and others in the health care markets, Mays and his colleagues found that health insurance plans are more often requiring preauthorization for outpatient services and specialist referrals. They also found that plans are reviewing inpatient services while patients are in the hospital in an effort to shorten hospitalizations, and they are reviewing claims to profile providers based on health care use and quality.

Many of these techniques were criticized during the managed care backlash of the 1990s and had been removed from plans as insurers responded to pressure from enrollees and employers. But with premiums rising at double-digit rates, some plans have now begun reintroducing the cost-control measures, though few of the respondents in the study believed these strategies alone would greatly reduce health care costs.


Mays’ coauthors were Gary Claxton, vice president of the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, and Justin White, a research assistant at Mathematica Policy Research. Their research was conducted at the Center for Studying Health System Change and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


In its year-end review of most-read articles from Jan. 1 to Dec. 21, 2004, Health Affairs noted that its Web readership quadrupled to 8 million page views. It is the one of the most widely read health policy journals.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has more than 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.