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NHS Putting Doctors Back in Charge Throughout the System – Unknown If Savings Will Occur & US Health Insurance Companies M

Posted Jul 12 2010 6:14pm

Just a couple weeks ago one NHS Hospital was going to be the pilot and now it appears the change is nationwide.  Doctors and nurses will cross over into the area of being “creative technologists” with better methodologies of delivering care.

This will be an interesting transition as the UK might see some of our US health insurance folks drifting over to capture some business opportunities since the GPs will have more of an open hand to use charities or other investors in their practices.  The article lists Humana and United Health as a couple that would be right there as some already have some investments in the UK and this could grow into more acquisitions.  UnitedHealthGroup in particular is buying up all different types of companies.  BD  

A Health Service revolution which will put billions of pounds of taxpayers' cash directly into the hands of GPs was unveiled yesterday.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley promised the biggest upheaval since the NHS was formed in 1948.

Family doctors will take over responsibility for spending £70billion from NHS managers, thousands of whom could lose their jobs as their organizations are abolished.

It scraps waiting-time targets, focusing instead on improving outcomes such as cancer survival, and puts GPs back in charge of out-of-hours care.

Mr Lansley said: 'The sick must not pay for the debt crisis left by the previous administration. But the NHS is a priority for reform too. Investment has to be matched by reform.

'So we will reform the NHS to use those resources more effectively for the benefit of patients.' 

GPs will have to join one of about 500 consortia. They will be allowed to buy in outside help from private firms or charities to run their practices.

They could also employ managers from abolished primary care trusts. This has led to skepticism that the plan would actually save money.

Previous Labour and Tory governments have tried giving GPs commissioning powers but in both cases, ministers were faced with a distinct lack of enthusiasm from the majority of doctors who want to treat patients rather than manage budgets. The British Medical Association can be expected to push for more money in return for taking on the powers.

Several private health insurers and US based 'health maintenance' organizations might see the changes as a business opportunity. These include Humana, United Health, McKinsey, Bupa and Capita. 

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