Medicare and Medicaid: Savings Opportunities from Health Care Modernization

January 09, 2013

The federal government is confronting a substantial fiscal challenge and policymakers will need to consider a range of policy changes to bring the budget closer to balance. A central focus of these efforts will be health care entitlements – principally Medicare and Medicaid.

While much of the recent debate on Medicare and Medicaid savings has centered on either cutting consumers’ benefits or providers’ payments, a new UnitedHealth Group report identifies a different approach: better care coordination and support for beneficiaries so as to unleash greater value from the health care system.

Following are opportunities to reduce spending in Medicare and Medicaid explored in the report:

  • Transform the Medicare and Medicaid fee-for-service programs.
  • Provide beneficiaries with information and incentives to use high-quality providers, improve their health, and choose appropriate care.
  • Reduce avoidable and inappropriate care with clinical interventions.
  • Deploy technology broadly to improve and streamline care.
  • Implement payment reform initiatives.

This report is intended to serve as a basis for further discussion about how to address the nation’s fiscal challenges and how to meet the country’s needs for improved health care as affordably as possible.


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