The federal government could save more than half a trillion dollars over the next decade simply by pushing initiatives to reduce medical errors, to promote better treatment of chronic and advanced illnesses, and to step up case management, according to a study released by UnitedHealth Groups Center for Health Reform and Modernization.
With widespread adoption of programs already used by UnitedHealth, federal payers would shave more than $540 billion in healthcare costs, according to the study.
Our data and experience show thatworking in partnership with physicians, hospitals and other care providersin practice it is possible to get more value out of healthcare spending so as to fund increased access to high quality care, UnitedHealth Group Executive Vice President Simon Stevens said in a written statement.
The report, which puts a price tag on 15 potential ways to wring savings out of the $2.5 trillion-per-year healthcare sector, comes at a time when payers, providers and labor groups have made a highly public commitment to help lower overall healthcare costs.
Many of the options are separately being mulled by federal lawmakers, who have been charged with drafting legislation that would reshape the current health system model. For instance, one calls for better adherence to evidence-based clinical practices while another champions the medical home model. Combined, those two provisions would save $122 billion over 10 years, the study states.
This report provides concrete examples of how we can modernize our healthcare system in a thoughtful and sustainable way, partly through proven programs that are already working, Stevens said.