Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bundled payments a way to cut health costs: study

One of the best ways to control U.S. healthcare spending is to pay doctors, hospitals and other health providers a single set fee for treating all aspects of a surgical procedure or a chronic disease such as diabetes, researchers said on Wednesday.

Although such a "bundled payments" approach does not figure in current U.S. healthcare reform legislation, it would go a long way to controlling costs, the team at the non-profit Rand Corporation said.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that bundled payments could save the U.S. healthcare system about a billion dollars a year but the Rand team said broadening the approach, already used by Medicare in some areas, could save more than that.

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