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Fed Up with Rising Costs, Big U.S. Firms Dig Into Health Care

At its Silicon Valley headquarters, network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc is going to unusual lengths to take control of the relentless increase in its U.S. health care costs. Cisco last year began offering its employees a plan it negotiated directly with nearby Stanford Health medical system. Under the plan, physicians are supposed to keep costs down by closely tracking about a dozen health indicators to prevent expensive emergencies, and keep Cisco workers happy with their care. If they meet these goals, Stanford gets a bonus. If they fail, Stanford pays Cisco a penalty.  Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co and Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, have likewise hammered out health plans directly with providers. (Reuters by Caroline Humer)

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