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Is Bundled Health Care In Our Future?

Image: borman818 under CC 3.0

One of the primary causes of rising health insurance premiums is the sheer overuse of care. The current payment system encourages doctors to order as many procedures as possible, since they get paid on an a-la-carte basis. The cost is then passed to health insurers, and therefore you.

In the near term, healthcare reform won’t change this. However, it does create pilot programs that experiment with bundled payments. Bundled health care means that physicians and hospitals are paid a near-flat fee based on treating and managing certain conditions, as opposed to being paid for each individual procedure.

Proponents of the strategy claim that it will lead to more affordable health insurance, since it provides an incentive for doctors to use preventative care more effectively.

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