Volume 43 | Number 4 | August 2008

Abstract List

Howard Waitzkin, Michael Schillaci, Cathleen E. Willging


To answer questions about the impacts of Medicaid managed care (MMC) at the individual, organizational/community, and population levels of analysis.

Data Sources/Study Setting

Multimethod approach to study MMC in New Mexico, a rural state with challenging access barriers.

Study Design

Individual level: surveys to assess barriers to care, access, utilization, and satisfaction. Organizational/community level: ethnography to determine changes experienced by safety net institutions and local communities. Population level: analysis of secondary databases to examine trends in preventable adverse sentinel events.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Survey: multivariate statistical methods, including factor analysis and logistic regression. Ethnography: iterative coding and triangulation to assess documents, field observations, and inā€depth interviews. Secondary databases: plots of sentinel events over time.

Principal Findings

The survey component revealed no consistent changes after MMC, relatively favorable experiences for Medicaid patients, and persisting access barriers for the uninsured. In the ethnographic component, safety net institutions experienced increased workload and financial stress; mental health services declined sharply. Immunization rate, as an important sentinel event, deteriorated.


MMC exerted greater effects on safety net providers than on individuals and did not address problems of the uninsured. A multimethod approach can facilitate evaluation of change in health policy.