Insurer's study finds cost-effective way to treat cancer

the ONA take:

A new model for paying oncologists reduced cancer care costs by 34% without changing how well patients fared after treatment, according to a study conducted by UnitedHealthcare. The insurer partnered with five oncology practices to conduct the study, which involved 810 patients and ran from October 2009 through December 2012. The doctors were offered an upfront bundled payment for cancer care, a change from the company’s usual practice of compensating doctors for each drug prescribed. The strategy reduced overall costs by $33.36 million; however, the insurer was surprised by an unexpected increase of approximately $13.5 million in chemotherapy drug expenses. Approximately 11% of UnitedHealthcare’s commercial health plan spending is on cancer care. Bundled payments is a strategy being explored by many health insurers in efforts to reduce health care costs.

Insurer's study finds cost-effective way to treat cancer
Insurer's study finds cost-effective way to treat cancer
A new UnitedHealthcare model for paying oncologists trimmed cancer-care costs by 34 percent without changing how well patients fared after treatment, according to a study conducted by the insurer and published in a medical journal Tuesday.
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