Rethinking the Term "Managed Care" for the 21st Century

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In April, Commonwealth Fund CEO David Blumenthal, MD, and David Squires, MA, senior researcher to the president of the fund, offer the latest in a series of guest commentaries marking the 20th year of publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. They call for a retooling of the term "managed care" to better reflect its current meaning.

Rethinking the Term “Managed Care” for the 21st CenturyFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMONDAY, April 20, 2015

PLAINSBORO, N.J.—When we say “managed care,” do we know what we mean? That basic question is the heart of a new commentary in The American Journal of Managed Care by Commonwealth Fund CEO David Blumenthal, MD, and David Squires, MA, senior researcher to the president of the fund. Blumenthal and Squires say it’s time to rethink what the term means, and make sure it aligns with current calls to empower patients.

It’s not that consumers don’t want managed care, Blumenthal and Squires write. They want an updated version that recognizes their role in their own care. “The optimal management of care, and the creation of policy and organizational environments that facilitate it, continue to have deep intuitive resonance,” they write.


Retooling the term “managed care” demands a review of the areas that can and should be managed for the benefit of patients, they write. Blumenthal and Squires go on to discuss those areas: benefits management, clinical management, and patient engagement. They discuss the need for transparency—giving patients reliable information on quality and cost.

The commentary is the fourth in a series, all by healthcare leaders, to mark the journal’s 20th year of publication. The series can be accessed here.

About the Journals

The American Journal of Managed Care celebrates its 20th year in 2015 as the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. Other titles in the franchise include The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, which provides pharmacy and formulary decision-makers with information to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care, and The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary on innovative healthcare delivery models facilitated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s Evidence-Based series brings together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in oncology and diabetes management. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin (609) 716-7777 x 131