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Gaining Strategic Advantages Through Partnerships With Public Health Departments

Author: W. MICHAEL REID, DAVID P. PAGE, DENNIS V. COOKRO, IRA G. MANDEL, RUSSEL M. HOSTETLER, and KATHERINE P. MASON
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 23 No. 1

Public health officials have advocated in public health and public policy journals for
collaboration with private sector health care organizations for nearly a decade.
There has been little written in the management literature on this topic, however.
There are several important areas in which public health departments have expertise
that could be valuable to private sector health care organizations, including health
maintenance organizations (HMOs). These include the delivery of services in some
geographic areas and to some special populations, provision of preventive and health
promotion services to HMO members, performance of epidemiology services, assist-
ance in accreditation, and repair of the damaged image of HMOs. HMOs and local
health departments in many parts of the country are already entering into contracts
for these purposes. Such partnerships between HMOs and local health departments
can improve the health of the members of HMO plans and contribute to improving
the health of the community.

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