As reported in a number of publications from CNBC to the Wall Street Journal, a new study suggests that some seemingly "modest" tweaks to the way an oncology practice operates could help realize millions of dollars of savings.  The study was conducted by Unitedhealthcare, one of the largest national providers of health insurance.  They looked at 5 oncology practices, with 810 patients treated over a 3 year period.   Two key changes to care came in how the providers were paid and how the treatment was tracked. (NOTE:  it also involved SHARING DATA...)  While one of the authors of the article (an oncologist who is employed by the insurance giant) indicated that the results were enigmatic, Newcomer said whatever was leading to a reduction in costs didn't decrease the overall outcomes for the patients involved in the study."Quality actually improved," Newcomer said. "The number of hospitalizations went down."   If only more carriers could provide this type of innovative thinking nationwide, we might see an actual decrease in healthcare costs, something that was promised and not delivered by ACA - the Affordable Care Act.   Read more:

CNBC article