Additional dimensions can be defined on the basis of intrusiveness of oversight
of physician practice, and whether the physician is forced to assume some of
the risks of insurance. Contractual arrangements vary from situations in which
a physician group agrees to treat the MCO’s patients for a set fee schedule, to
situations in which there is a total capitation where physicians agree to
assume the insurance risks for a panel of patients. MCO involvement in
monitoring medical decision making may be minimal, but more often it
involves a very intrusive review of all medical decisions that involve
procedures, pharmaceuticals, or hospitalization—anything that costs extra.
Enforcement mechanisms in these types of contracts may involve a pure
financial incentive scheme, or the group may face contract termination for
violating established norms.