MEDICAL CARE: THE SOUL OF AN HMO

MANAGED CARE IS CERTAINLY BRINGING DOWN AMERICA'S MEDICAL COSTS, BUT IT IS ALSO RAISING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER PATIENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH SEVERE ILLNESSES, CAN STILL TRUST THEIR DOCTORS

ALAN DEMEURERS RECALLS IT VIVIDLY AS ONE BRIGHT moment in a succession of dark days. "I remember exactly where we were sitting," he says. His wife Christine had by then been found to have metastatic breast cancer and believed her only hope was to undergo a costly new kind of therapy that involves the harvest and retransplant of her own bone marrow--high-wire medicine occupying what one of her physicians calls "the twilight zone between promising and unproven treatments."

It is a measure of just how bleak those days were that this gleaming instant came when Alan at last read the thick...

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