Lifeline from UnitedHealth?

UnitedHealth wants to have at least 50% of its network under value-based contracting by 2015.  How does that sound?  Good for them.  We also have another made-up political term (please see my other blogs about P4P traps) called “value-based contracting”  .   Somehow our leaders believe this is a wonderful thing.   Here was a quote from Lisa Bielamowicz, MD, a managing director and national physician practice leader for The Advisory Board Co., a research, consulting and technology firm serving academic and health care organizations, at the end of this American Medical News article:

Where health plans are simply paying more to primary care physicians in lieu of complicated risk arrangements or pay-for-performance programs, she said, the insurers are extending a financial “lifeline” to doctors under financial distress. Those straightforward boosts in pay are likely to be replaced by arrangements that involve physicians taking on risk.

 In other words, they are taking advantage of our pitiful pay situation in order to get us to buy in.  Do you see the words “replaced” and “risk”?   That is called bait-and-switch.   What did P.T. Barnum allegedly say?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Lifeline from UnitedHealth?

  1. mamadoc
    March 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    A “lifeline” from an insurance company? I think we’d be better off swimming.

  2. big picture doc
    March 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    There’s the wonderful private sector screwing us again.

  3. Diane Haugen
    March 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Physicians being paid more for “arrangements that involve physicians taking on risk”? Eh?

    Whose the delusional dreamer who thinks physicians don’t already take all the risks.

    Insurance is by definition based on payments calculated to keep the company afloat by denying claims.

    So now insurance companies want to collect money for which there is no risk of having to pay off? Then gee, they are no longer insurance companies, are they?

    Let me see, what is that term for selling something for which there is no intention of delivering…

    • Doug Farrago
      March 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Love it.

Comments are closed.