Implementing the second generation social health maintenance organization: Implementing the second generation social health maintenance organization

Robert Newcomer, Charlene Harrington, Robert Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In 1996 the Health Care Financing Administration implemented a second generation of the Social HMO demonstration. This model retained the chronic care benefits of the original Social HMOs while attempting to develop a geriatric service model integrated into primary care and a screening and assessment process focused directly on healthcare risk factors. Other refinements included risk-adjusted capitation payment, broadened eligibility for expanded care benefits, low co-payments for these benefits, and no caps on the expanded care benefits expenditures. OBJECTIVES: The geriatric approach is designed to facilitate integration among providers and levels of care. This includes timely application of primary care monitoring and treatment to reduce illness and disability as well as a geriatric education and consultation program to provide specialty support for complex cases. Care management is designed for those requiring home-based care, those discharged from hospitals or nursing homes, and those having difficulty with treatment regimens. DESIGN: A case study of the Social HMO implementation through the Fall of 1999. SETTING: Health Plan of Nevada (HPN), with locations in Las Vegas, Reno, and surrounding areas. PARTICIPANTS: More than 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries participated during the study period. MEASUREMENTS: Administrative reports, charts, and interviews with administrators and clinicians. RESULTS: Within 12 months of operation under this authority, HPN succeeded in putting in place most of the components of the planned geriatric approach: a screening program to identify patients 'at risk' for high service costs and disability and timely application of primary care treatment to reduce illness and disability. Geriatric education and a consultation program for complex cases were available, but full implementation was delayed until the plan was able to hire a full time geriatrician. CONCLUSIONS: Health Plan of Nevada's Social HMO program reflects current perspectives on how to integrate chronic care into an HMO. The accomplishments affirm that the provision of risk-adjusted reimbursement, along with the 5% supplement to the normal Medicare capitation payment, are sufficient incentives for a health plan to restructure itself so that it places a priority on retaining and serving populations at risk for high expenditures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-834
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Aged
  • Managed care

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Implementing the second generation social health maintenance organization: Implementing the second generation social health maintenance organization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this