Experts Predict the End of Health Insurance Companies

 A recent opinion in the New York Times predicts that health insurance companies will be uneccessary by the year 2020.  The authors claim that the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers) will eliminate the need for insurance companies.  A.C.O.’s will be responsible for a large group of patients (risk-pooling) and “…insurance companies will no longer be needed to handle complicated billing and claims processing, nor will they need to be paid a fee for doing so…”

However, insurance companies are much more skilled at collecting and using data than most health systems.  In order to eliminate the need for insurance companies, A.C.O.’s will need to get much better at using data.  Providers should also consider the information technology investment required to implement “enhanced information systems to track patients and figure out how to deliver more effective care.”

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