UnitedHealth hopes to convince Congress it can help

The Star Tribune’s Chen May Yee has a helpful overview today about UnitedHealth Group‘s role in the health-reform debate.

The Minnetonka-based HMO is pitching ideas for cost-savings and hoping to convince Congress that it can be a part of the solution. It recently announced a telemedicine plan to serve rural patients and also opened a comparative effectiveness center.

“Leading companies take advantage of disruptive change in the marketplace,” CEO Stephen Hemsley recently told reporters.

Meanwhile, one commenter says the article should have focused more on the Lewin Group, which touts itself as an objective, independent think tank on health-care issues but is part of a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 08/05/2009 - 02:03 pm.

    Simon Stevens, United Health CEO, comes to Minnesota from the British Health group: NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). Here is what a British Physician has to say about his cost cutting methods.

    An article warning the U.S. against the NICE model was written recently by London oncologist, Dr. Karol Sikora, a professor of cancer medicine at the Imperial College School of Medicine. In a May 12, 2009 New Hampshire Union Leader article, “This Health Care ‘Reform’ Will Kill You,” Dr. Sikora said, “As a practicing oncologist, I am forced to give patients older, cheaper medicines. The real cost of this penny-pinching is premature death for thousands of patients—and higher overall health costs than if they had been treated properly….” He added, “If NICE concludes that a new drug gives insufficient bang for the buck, it will not be available through our public National Health Service, which provides care for the majority of Britons….

    “Partly as a result of these restrictions on new medicines, British patients die earlier. In Sweden, 60.3 percent of men and 61.7 percent of women survive a cancer diagnosis. In Britain the figure ranges betwwen 40.2 to 48.1 percent for men and 48 to 54.1 percent for women.”

  2. Submitted by Dan Haugen on 08/06/2009 - 08:24 am.

    Glenn,
    So are you arguing that we should strive to create a system more like Sweden than Britain?

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