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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 12, 1975)
Feasibility of organized health
maintenance studied for Lincoln
By Mary Kay Roth
Envision a system in which doctors and other
medical personnel profit when people are
healthy, not when they are ill.
Investigation to see if this type of health care
could be brought to Lincoln was started this
month. Spurred by a local group of interested
citizens, Alex Slobosky was hired to conduct the
$50,000 feasibility study.
Funded by a federal grant; the study will
examine the possibilities for a Health
Maintenance Organization (HMO) at UNL and in
Lincoln and surrounding areas.
An HMO, or prepaid group-practice plan, is a
form of medical insurance. The company does,
not just pay the medical bills, as does Blue
Cross-Blue Shield it provides actual health care,
All medical services
In return for monthly fees similar to those
paid into health insurance companies, HMO
offers its members all types of medical services.
For example, Slobosky said HMO provides
doctors, hospitalization, X rays and
prescriptions, he said.
Those who pay into HMO, the enrollees, agree
to use only the doctors and health care
associated with their HMO, he added.
A budget can then be projected, according to
the number of enrollees and available staff,
Slobosky said. The budget would set a
"break-even point," where enough money would
be allowed to efficiently care for each enrollee,
The staff doctors, hospital workers,
nurses-are paid from the same fund used to
provide members' health care. They receive
salaries instead of profiting directly from their
patients, Slobosky said.
Because the budget is limited, surplus money
only occurs when enrollees require less health
care, he explained. Keeping patients healthy
becomes the desirable and profitable goal, he
End unnecessary hospitalization
Results demonstrate that HMO doctors are
stopping unnecessary "hospitalization, Slobosky
said, such as hospitalization for diagnostic
services or "just to get away from the kids."
Where HMO's operate, Slobosky said people
are hospitalized 60 per cent as often as in areas
where other forms of health insurance
HMOs range from decentralized medical
programs to completely centrally owned
operations, he said.
The feasibility study will include UNL, he
continued, to see if a Lincoln HMO could
integrate with the UNL Student Health Service.
Students would probably have special rates and
benefits, he said.
First, Slobosky said, the study must
determine whether there are any financial or
legal restrictions in Lincoln for such a system.
The next step is to determine public interest
levels, he said, which includes finding potential
patients, doctors and hospitals.
If the results are positive, the plan will be
returned to the federal government with a
request for additional funds.
Slobosky said he is "sold on" the HMO
system, which he said has advantages for both
patients and doctors.
Enrollees will save on expenses, Slobosky said,
because HMOs pay for many types of care not
covered' by health insurance companies-routine
physicals, inoculations, child care and more
complicated medical problems.
A patient's records are kept in one file, he
said, and the HMO provides any type of
specialist-"the patient isn't forced to hunt
around for family physicians or pediatricians."
Although doctors could be reluctant to give
up control of their own schedules and profits,
Slobosky said, HMOs actually provide more
freedom than private practice.
He said doctors' hours under HMOs are
regular, and physicians may take vacations or
sick leave knowing other doctors will be able to
fill in for them.
UNL to make power switch
Continued from p.l
Traudt said UNL will either
have to buy the needed power
from . the Lincoln Electric
System(LES), the Nebraska
Public Power Service, or
consider buying its own
The generator, plus
installation charges, would cost
approximately $3 million,
Traudt said. He said he does
not want to buy the generator
"It will be a matter of
economics then," he said. "I
don't wnat to stress the
generator. We will look for the
cheapest method possible."
UNL does not now buy any
power from LES, but does pay
a charge to "wheel" the power
over their lines, he said. A
percentage of the power bill
also goes to LES to
compensate for their
lower' rate than available from
LES, he said.
The plan is equitable, since
LES is being compensated for
the use of their lines and the
Bureau of Reclamations
charges a fair rate, Traudt said.
The power plant operates
on a budget from the
University and also charges all
that it supplies, he said.
Dormitories, Greek houses,
the Nebraska Center, the
Nebraska Union food service,
the Nebraska Historical
Museum and the State Capitol
are charged for the services, he
said. The power plant takes in
approximately $600,000 per
year from these charges, he
The UNL system operates
on a closed cycle, which
provides for maximum energy
conservation, Traudt said.
Steam used to generate power
is "bleeded off to supply the
buildings with heat and water
left after condensation is
pumped back to the plant to
be used again, he said.
Traudt said he meets with
the UNL Business and Finance
department and LES to work
out the charges each year. UNL
is classified as a "preference
customer" by the Bureau of
Reclamations, which allows
UNL to buy the power at a
Today, 6 p.m., Nebraska Union
I. Executive Report
II. Open Forum
III. Old Business
A. Committee Report on Revision of ASUN Constitution
B. Resolution No. 52-Revision of the ASUN Constitution
C. Electoral Commission Report on Rules for the spring
D. Union Board Appointments
E. Approval of Student Organization Constitutions
F. Resolution No. 53-Approval of Renting a Xerox copier
G. Resolution No. 54-Changing Senate Meeting lime
IV. New Business
2A hours a
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Wednesday, february 12, 1975
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