Thursday, November 03, 2005

MHOs vs HMOs - what Ghana can teach the US

Most people know what HMOs are. Health Maintenance Oraganisations are profit making bodies in the US which "manage health care" for large groups of citizens. They often do a bad job, and there is a lot of unhappiness with the services they provide. MHOs may be a much more sensible model we should be looking at instead !

MHOs ( Mutual Health Organizations ) are autonomous, non-profit community or enterprise-based health financing schemes based on the up-front contributions of many people for the health care costs of a few. Contributions are rated on a community basis as opposed to an individual basis. MHOs attempt to maintain democratic accountability to their members and promote solidarity and mutual aid between members. MHOs are common in Ghana.

Consumer-directed healthcare is the currently fashionable wave in the US Healthcare industry. Maybe it can learn from Ghana !

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