Agreement could cut health care costs in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Medical groups and several major insurance companies have reached an agreement that seeks to cut health care costs in Nebraska while improving patient outcomes.

The groups on Wednesday will sign the voluntary agreement, which was brokered by two state lawmakers.

The agreement focuses on the use of patient-centered medical homes, which have been shown to provide better-coordinated and more efficient care for patients with a lot of needs.

The state began a pilot program after passing bill in 2009 by state Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island. Last year, state Sen. John Wightman of Lexington introduced a measure to require insurance companies to pay physicians for patient-centered medical home services.

The senators say Wightman’s bill prompted a year-long effort to set up rules between physicians and insurers.

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