Did We Just Unlock the Secret to Cutting Cancer Costs?

Has UNH found something that could be incredibly useful here?

Jul 19, 2014 at 1:05PM

We all know that the United States health care system is burdened by tremendous expense. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, in 2012 health care spending in the United States was $2.8 trillion (a staggering $8,915 per person).  Healthcare spending is a major concern, which is why so much money, time, and effort is thrown into research to try and find a way to reduce spending or at least slow its growth.

Private insurers like industry leader UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) are at the forefront of this research, as their profits depend on reducing health care expenses so they keep a greater proportion of the revenue they collect in premiums from members.

A lot of people have worried that the easiest way for insurance companies to save on health care expenses is to reduce care choice -- we've heard about the so-called "narrow networks" in some Obamacare plans, and of course many of us have dealt with the frustration of figuring out whether a doctor is 'in-network' or not.

A revolutionary opportunity?
That's why a study recently released by UnitedHealth Group is so exciting. UnitedHealthcare (the insurance component of UNH) partnered with five medical oncology groups to do a study on 810 patients with common cancers (lung, colon, and breast cancer) and try to find ways to deliver care at the same level of quality but significantly cheaper.

And they succeeded.

In this pilot program, medical costs were reduced by 34%. And patient outcomes remained the same. Think about the opportunities to bend the cost curve if this could be expanded just to all of UnitedHealth Group's cancer spending (we don't know if that's possible yet, but many of the best practices identified here may have potential to be applied in other cancers). Based on 2013 numbers, those savings would have translated into an extra $3 billion in pre-tax profit.

But what if we could expand it even further?

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer spending in 2010 was about $125 billion. A third of that number is a gigantic amount that could be saved.

This could be truly revolutionary. And in the video below, Motley Fool health care analysts Michael Douglass and David Williamson lay out the scope of the potential for company profit and for the general health care system.

Another gigantic, revolutionary opportunity
The best biotech investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and more accurately than anyone else. Let me cut right to the chase. There is a product in development that will revolutionize not just how we treat a common chronic illness, but potentially the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. In order to outsmart Wall Street and realize multi-bagger returns you will need The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. CLICK HERE NOW.

David Williamson owns shares of UnitedHealth Group. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information