The doctor–patient relationship has been and remains a keystone of treatment: the way in which data are gathered, diagnoses and plans are made, compliance is accomplished, and treatment, patient activation, and support are provided.To managed care organizations, its importance rests also on market savvy: satisfaction with the doctor–patient relationship is a critical factor in people’s decisions to join and stay with a specific organization.
The rapid penetration of managed care into the health care market raises concern for many patients, practitioners, and scholars about the effects that different financial and organizational features might have on the doctor–patient relationship. Some such concerns represent a blatant backlash on the part of providers against the perceived or feared deleterious effects of the corporatization of health care practices. But objective and theoretical bases for genuine concern remain. This article examines the foundations and features of the doctor–patient relationship, and how it may be affected by managed care.