A relatively new term coined originally to refer to the prepaid
health care sector, (e.g., HMO's
). In general, the term refers to a means of providing health care services within a defined network of health care providers
who are given the responsibility to manage and provide quality, cost-effective health care. Increasingly, the term is being used by many analysts to include PPO's
and even forms of indemnity insurance
coverage that incorporate preadmission certification
and other utilization controls.