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UnitedHealth: New doctor payment plan cut cancer care costs

Reuters, July 9, 2014

An experiment changing how U.S. cancer doctors are compensated cut healthcare costs by a third, with no discernible decline in patient health, according to a three-year study by insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc and five medical oncology groups. Cancer treatment is one of the most expensive and fastest growing categories of care in the United States. Oncologists and insurers have been devising new incentives for doctors to improve patient care while lowering costs. In the latest experiment, UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, gave participating doctors an upfront payment to cover a patient's full course of treatment, rather than reimburse them for each individual medical service such as chemotherapy.