Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Tiered Provider Networks

1/1/2004 - 1/31/2006
Principal Investigator: 
Andrew Coburn
Bill Thomas, Ph.D.

The purpose of this project is to determine where and how tiered provider networks are utilized, to describe the characteristics of these networks, and to develop insights into strategies used by health plans when implementing and operating tiered provider networks. The concept underlying tiered networks is that health plans may be able to reduce costs and/or improve quality by directing consumers to certain providers and to avoid others. Unlike traditional HMO arrangements, tiered network plans typically allow members to access all providers, not just a subset. Through a variety of tactics, such as the disclosure of provider ?scores? as well as differential cost sharing arrangements, consumers are encouraged to shop for health care services among select and non-select providers.
In collaboration with Mercer Human Resource Consulting, a set of questions will be included in this firm?s 2005 web-based Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Plans. To answer questions that cannot be addressed with a structured response survey, site visits will be conducted, including personal interviews and focus groups, in five case study communities in which tiered provider networks are operational. Finally, to assess the direction and magnitude of changes occurring in tiered network programs, information derived from the analyses of 2005 survey results and site visits will be used to develop a refined set of tiered network questions for the 2006 Mercer survey.

Start Date: 
Thu, 2004-01-01
End Date: 
Tue, 2006-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
2 391

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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