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Insurer plays judge on cancer care

Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2010
UnitedHealthcare has started sending doctors individualized reports assessing their treatment of breast, lung, and colorectal cancer patients. The reports show that while breast-cancer patients generally receive care that conforms to professional protocols, treatments given for colorectal and lung cancer tend to fail to meet expert recommendations more often. The company says it hopes that drawing doctors' attention to how their treatments might vary from medical protocol will reduce unnecessary care that doesn't improve health and raises healthcare costs.