In an effort to cut costs, UnitedHealth Group will start aligning doctor payments with the quality of services they provide.
Bloomberg News reports, “The largest US health insurer by sales … expects to save twice as much as it would spend on incentive payments for doctors because patients will be healthier.” The “program may cover as much as 70 percent of the insurer’s commercial members by 2015, from less than 2 percent now, the company said.”
Their decision moves healthcare away from a quantitatively rewarded model to one that will not only motivate doctors to provide better care, it should also significantly lower patient costs — two factors that will be of great benefit to individuals and business owners alike. Will it work? This is definitely the new model, as multiple carriers are beginning to implement accountable care organizations, or ACO’s — small groups of health providers whose goal is to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.