Connecticut Health Care Redesign Plan Focuses on Primary Care, Doctor Payments and Reducing Waste

The ct Mirror is reporting that a team of state officials and health care industry representatives are trying to redesign the way health care is paid for and delivered to the vast majority of Connecticut residents.

According to a draft of their plan, their vision includes bolstering primary care practices to take on a larger role in patient care and offer treatment during expanded hours. It calls for better linking of medical practices with social services and other supports that could help people in high-risk communities. And it includes changing the way health care providers are paid by giving them an incentive to rein in what their patients’ care costs — a model that’s been embraced by Medicare and insurance companies but has drawn fire from patient advocates. Continue reading

Payment Incentives Can Boost Care, but Long-Term Strategies Needed Acording to a new JAMA Study

Financial incentives can encourage physicians to provide higher quality care to their patients, but the additional money might not be enough to significantly improve care over the long term, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Los Angeles Times‘ “Science Now” reports.

The study found that the individual incentives — $2,672 per doctor on average — helped spur a significant change in the physicians’ performance. Meanwhile, group payments — $1,648 on average — and combined group and individual payments — $4,270 on average — did not lead to significant changes in performance (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 9/11).

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United Healthcare Introduces Online Bill Payments

United Healthcare has introduced an online bill payment service that enables United members to pay their bills to healthcare providers by credit card or bank transfer.

United, which has integrated the online bill-pay capability with its claims processing system, is the first payer to supply a service of this kind, said Victoria Bogatyrenko, VP of products innovation for United, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.

The significance of United’s move is that it provides a more efficient way for many providers, especially small physician practices and community hospitals, to receive payments from patients. Also, the approach makes it easier for patients to see what they owe and pay their bills to all of their doctors.

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