Bloomberg News

More-Efficient Health Care May Save $300 Billion, Insurers Say

October 04, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Shifting the focus of health care to more-efficient service sooner could save the federal government more than $300 billion over 10 years, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said today.

Incentives for quality service and reduced medical errors would eliminate infections and complications that harm thousands of people each year and pare the costs of redundant and unnecessary services, said the Chicago-based association, which represents 39 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. More emphasis on primary care and encouraging healthy lifestyles would also save money, the group said in a report.

The 2010 health-care law was aimed at curbing rising health-care costs while expanding coverage to uninsured Americans. While some of the association’s proposals are in the overhaul, they need to be implemented faster, the group said.

“We believe the health-care system needs to fundamentally change so that people get the best, most-affordable care possible, Scott P. Serota, association president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We need to put the patient back in the center of health care.”

The association’s members include Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer by enrollment, and together cover about 100 million people, or one in three Americans, in 50 states and territories.

--Editors: Bruce Rule, Adriel Bettelheim

To contact the reporter on this story: Carol Eisenberg in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriel Bettelheim in Washington at

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