GE trades employee health insurance savings for imaging equipment sales

As large employers adopt high-deductible health plans, demand for imaging among privately insured Americans also is falling.

General Electric Co.'s $18 billion healthcare business has seen a slowdown in medical imaging that, ironically, is due in part to the company's attempts to save money on employee health insurance, reports the Wall Street Journal. In the first two years after GE put 85,000 of its workers on a high-deductible health plan, use of advanced imaging including MRIs and CT scans has dropped by as much as a quarter, as covered employees' overall use of health services fell, according to the company.

"That is good news for GE proper, which last year expanded the plan to include its 45,000 hourly and union workers. But it's bad news for GE's health-care business, which is one of the world's biggest makers of MRI machines and CT scanners," the article notes. Article

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