NU Online News Service, July 19, 11:15 a.m. – Milliman USA Inc., Seattle, a large actuarial firm, has released Inpatient & Surgical Care 2001, the latest version of its care guidelines for inpatient and surgical care.

Doctors, hospitals and health plans can use the guidelines to determine how the typical medical office, clinic or hospital treats a condition. Milliman also includes results of research studies evaluating the cost and effectiveness of various courses of treatment.

Some doctors, medical societies and patients have accused health plans of using the Milliman care guidelines to avoid paying for a reasonable of patient care.

But Milliman notes in capital letters in its guide licensing agreements that the guides “DO NOT CONSTITUTE ROCEDURES FOR THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.”

Milliman emphasizes that physicians should use their own professional medical judgment, not its guidelines, when managing care for any individual patient.

More information about the guidelines update is available at http://www.mnr.com