Volume 37 | Number 5 | October 2002

Abstract List

Dana B Mukamel, David L Weimer, Jack Zwanziger, Alvin I Mushlin


To evaluate the association between contracting practices of managed care organizations (MCOs) with cardiac surgeons and the quality of the cardiac surgeons.

Data Sources/Study Setting

The study included all cardiac surgeons offering coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and 78 percent of MCOs in New York State in 1998. Primary data: The MCOs' panel composition with respect to hospitals and cardiac surgeons. Secondary data: New York State (NYS) Cardiac Surgery Reports.

Study Design

Statistical analyses of the probability of a contract between cardiac surgeons and MCOs conditional on the surgeon's risk‐adjusted mortality rates (RAMR), outlier and low volume status, and controlling for other confounding variables, were performed.

Principal Findings

Contract probability exhibited a tendency to decrease with RAMR, low volume and low‐quality outlier status and to increase with high‐quality outlier status. These effects were statistically significant for RAMR and high‐quality outliers in Downstate and for low volume in Downstate and Upstate.


In some, but not all cases, MCOs are seeking higher‐quality providers. Further research is required to understand regional variability and the effect of market structure on the quality profile of MCOs.