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Mass. health insurer to pay patients

December 20, 2011
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BOSTON—A Massachusetts health insurer says it plans to start paying its patients from $10 to $75 for seeking out less expensive treatment options.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care says next month it will introduce a rewards program through which patients who have been given referrals will be asked to call a "clinical concierge" service that can direct them to medical facilities that charge less for tests.

In return, patients will receive a check.

The SaveOn program is intended to help patients make smarter choices and to rein in the runaway prices of tests and procedures that contribute to rising premiums.

Chief Executive Eric Schultz tells The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/u6d84X) that patients aren't making those decisions because they don't have all the information.

Some doctors have reservations, saying they know what's best for their patients.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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