Cutting out the managed care middleman and contracting directly with medical providers may seem like a drastic solution for reducing health plan costs. Yet for employers who’ve been whipsawed by relentless cost increases, it may be the only solution that actually works. The profit-bloated managed care industry, with much to lose, has propagated many myths about why this sensible approach won’t work. But their solutions haven’t worked. Costs continue to surge and employers are desperately seeking relief. It’s time to debunk the myths about direct provider contracting and shed some light on this ingenious, innovative cost-containment strategy.