care (kar)

In medicine and public health, a general term for the application of knowledge to the benefit of a community or individual.
comprehensive medical c. a concept that includes not only the traditional c. of the acutely or chronically ill patient, but also the prevention and early detection of disease and the rehabilitation of the disabled.
health c. services provided to individuals or communities by agents of the health services or professions for the purpose of promoting, maintaining, monitoring, or restoring health.
intensive c. management and c. of critically ill patients. See also intensive care unit.
managed c. an arrangement whereby a third-party payer (e.g., insurance company, federal government, or corporation) mediates between physicians and patients, negotiating fees for service and overseeing the types of treatment given.Managed care has virtually replaced unmanaged indemnity plans, where payment is automatic and oversight procedures are minimal. Whereas 96% of American workers had unmanaged indemnity in 1984, only 28% did in 1988. Typically, in managed care, the third-party payer requires second opinions and precertification review for patients requiring hospital admission. They obtain wholesale prices from doctors, and carry out cost-containment measures, including auditing hospitals and reviewing claims. Managed care has figured heavily in the national debate over health care.
medical c. the portion of c. under a physician's direction.
primary medical c. c. of a patient by a member of the health c. system who has initial contact with the patient.
secondary medical c. medical c. by a physician who acts as a consultant at the request of the primary physician.
tertiary medical c. specialized consultative c., usually on referral from primary or secondary medical c. personnel, by specialists working in a center that has personnel and facilities for special investigation and treatment.


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