Healthcare players offer plan to cut costs by $2 trillion

This week the country's power players in the health plan, hospital, physician and union world--among others--have come together to propose what could turn out to be an astonishing change. The groups have announced that they'll voluntarily take steps that they estimate should lower overall healthcare costs by an extraordinary $2 trillion over the next decade.

The groups, which include the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Service Employee International Union, are offering the deal as part of their healthcare reform plans, which apparently closely resemble those under discussion within the Obama administration.

The first step in this process would come in the form of providers accepting bundled payments for services, which typically means accepting one fee for the entire course of care before, during and after a procedure or treatment. Private health plans would begin the process, but the administration is likely to do the same with Medicare before long.

The group says steps like these could cut health costs for a family of four by $2,400 within five years, and that within 10 years, overall national health spending could be cut by 3 percent.

To learn more about this proposition:
- read this Modern Physician piece (reg. req.)