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July 30, 2014

UnitedHealth: changing doctor payments could save $1 trillion

A new report from Twin Cities-based UnitedHealth Group maintains Americans could save as much as $1 trillion in a decade by changing the way doctors are paid. The country’s biggest health insurer supports performance-based compensation rather than today’s fee-for-service model … in other words paying doctors for keeping people healthy, not just for treating those who are sick.

In releasing the report, UnitedHealth acknowledged some of the challenges to making such a change. Those include getting more doctors behind the idea. A poll of doctors that was part of the report found only one-third support the change.

More than half-a-million doctors who are part of UnitedHealth’s network are already moving away from the fee-for-service model, under changes the company rolled out in February.

Here’s UnitedHealth’s report and a piece that appeared in Forbes last week taking a closer look at the business of the doctor-patient relationship.