Contracts play a rather important role in the system of health care, especially in its private sector (Boyle et al., 2001, p. 12). Such contracts as managed care, suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions present the core of the health care system as they provide the patient with everything necessary for effective health care including professional care, updated medical equipment, highly qualified personnel, and protection of rights of both patients and medical workers in the health care process (Lawriter, 2008).
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Managed care is the type of health care contract that deals with better organization and proper, in which there is a great doubt according to Kaiser (2008), handling of assets that a patient can allocate to the health care. For example, managed care contract determines the cheapest health care procedures for the patients, relates them to the patient’s needs and financial opportunities, establishes the frequency of visiting the practitioner for this, and overall tries to help the patient pay less for as much high-quality health care as possible (Chernew, 2008, p. 138).
The major similarity of managed care contracts with the other three types of contracts described further (including suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions) is its direction at providing care and treatment to patients. As well, managed care is similar to suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions’ contracts in the fact that all these contracts together form the system called health care. The main difference between managed care and suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions is in the fact that managed care is a complete health care approach, while suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions deal with particular sectors of this approach including equipment, personnel to handle it, and unions to defend the rights of patients and medical workers (Chernew, 2008, pp. 138 – 139).
Cases of Necessity
Managed care contracts are implemented mainly in the cases when the patients in need of health care cannot afford traditional health care insurance or the expensive treatment at private health care institutions. In practice, managed care contracts come into effect any time when the person who concluded it with a health care provider needs medical care, treatment, or even surgery (Chernew, 2008, pp. 138 – 139). Thus, managed care contract is one of the most important health care contract types.
Suppliers (equipment) contract is another important type of health care contract. The essence of this health care contract is in providing the health care organizations and facilities with the necessary medical equipment used for the needs of patients (Boyle et al., 2001, p. 82). Health care contracts of this type usually stipulate the terms and timeframes by which the suppliers should provide medical institutions with the necessary equipment. As well, suppliers (equipment) health care contracts are used as parts of managed care contracts (HP, 2009).
In comparison to managed care, personnel, and units of health care contracts, suppliers (equipment) differ in the point that they are the most technology-related (HP, 2009). In other words, if managed care contracts deal with health care on the whole and personnel and units contracts handle the staff issues in health care, suppliers (equipment) health care contracts are designed to provide health care process with all the necessary equipment, and serve as an integral part of the health care system.
Cases of Necessity
The sphere of use of suppliers (equipment) health care contracts is rather wide, if not comprehensive. In the modern world, medicine is closely connected to technological progress and new inventions, and suppliers (equipment) health care contracts allow health care providers to have the most updated equipment and be able to offer their clients the high standards of health care services quality (HP, 2009). Therefore, no medical facility of today can function without equipment, and this fact proves the overall use of suppliers (equipment) health care contracts.
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Personnel health care contracts are also known as employment contracts. The main purpose of this type of health care contract is to provide medical facilities with professional and highly qualified staff. The functions of the personnel will be to provide health care services to patients with the help of their medical knowledge and the ability to handle the most updated medical equipment. Personnel health care contracts as a rule stipulate the functions of the potential personnel, discuss the payment details, and explicitly state the qualifications the personnel is to have to be employed in a health care organization (Reschovsky et al, 2008, p. 255).
Personnel health care contracts are the most complicated ones as they regulate the relations between people, or people and organizations, who function as employers and employees. As compared to managed care, suppliers (equipment), and units health care contracts, the contracts regulating personnel relations are the largest in scope as they encompass such areas of health care as medical knowledge required, payment details, and the system of fines and rewards adopted by a health care provider (Reschovsky et al, 2008, p. 256).
Cases of Necessity
Personnel health care contracts are also used in a wide variety of cases in health care. To put it generally, no health care service is possible without respectively qualified personnel, so any health care provider has to conclude numerous personnel contracts before it can start providing health care services to its clients (Reschovsky et al, 2008, p. 258). Personnel contracts are thus used to create the staff of a health care organization and to provide this organization with the professional workers to properly handle the medical equipment the organization has.
The union’s health care contracts present the largest difficulty from the legislative point of view. Unions contracts are concluded, as a rule, either between employees who want their interests to be protected or between the employees and employee unions with the latter protecting the rights of the former while these employees work for a health care provider (Reschovsky et al, 2008, p. 255).
In comparison to managed care, suppliers (equipment), and personnel contracts, union health care contracts are closely related to personnel ones as both these contract types deal with the working functions and protection of rights for health care facilities’ employees (Boyle et al., 2001, p. 94). However, about managed care and suppliers (equipment) contracts, unions are equally important as they regulate the relations between various interest groups, like patients and health care providers, in the system of health care.
Cases of Necessity
The union health care contracts are used when the employees feel the need for protection of their interests in the workplace about their potential employees. The employers, i. e. health care providers, might also resort to unions contracts to obtain legislative support in any potential disputes with their employees (Reschovsky et al, 2008, p. 255).
Thus, health care contracts constitute a substantial part of the health care system. The managed care, suppliers (equipment), personnel, and unions contracts are at the core of the contract system in health care as these contracts regulate the relations of employers and employees, provide rights protection for both, and ensure that the patients obtain the professional and timely health care services.
Boyle P.J., DuBose, E.R., Ellingson, S.J., Guinn, D.E. & McCurdy, D.B. (2001). Organizational Ethics in Healthcare: Principals, cases, and practical solutions. San Francisco:Jossey-Bass.
Chernew, M. (2008). Achieving Value in Healthcare, The American Journal of Managed Care, 11(3), 138 – 139.
HP. (2009). The Best Medicine for Managing Healthcare Contracts. Web.
Kaiser, H. (2008). The Public, Managed Care, and Consumer Protections. Web.
Lawriter. (2008). Health Care Contracts Definitions. Ohio Laws and Rules. Web.
Reschovsky, J., Reed, M., Blumenthal, D., and Landon, B. (2001). Physicians’ Assessments of Their Ability to Provide High-Quality Care in a Changing Health Care System, Medical Care, 39(3), 254-269.