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B. Managed Care Systems Unraveling

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have determined that the health care system of California, which led the nation's charge into managed care, is unraveling as private physicians abandon HMOs, IPAs and managed care networks. Catherine Dower, a co-author of a recent California Physicians Survey, says this trend will negatively affect health care access.

Dower: Although over 90 percent of the physicians in California say that they are taking new patients, less than 60 percent said that they are taking new HMO patients. So there's a serious disconnect between the HMO patients and new patients overall.

Narrator: Dower says that a major exception is managed care group Kaiser Permanente, which has maintained much greater allegiance among its physician staff.

Dower: The fact that Kaiser Permanente physicians are so much more satisfied with their group model HMO. I think that that's really a wake up call for some of these managed care companies to start thinking about how they are doing business.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.