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From this morning's Wall Street Journal

"Employers are increasingly going the distance to control health spending, paying to send workers across the country to get medical care and bypassing local health-care providers.

"One of the latest is Amazon.com Inc., which will pay travel costs for workers diagnosed with cancer who choose to see doctors at City of Hope, a Los Angeles-area health system. More than 380,000 of the Seattle-based company’s employees and families across the U.S. are eligible for the travel benefit.

"Travel programs are winning over employers despite added costs for airfare, hotels and gasoline. Proponents say companies can get competitive prices and employees get better care - such as avoiding unnecessary treatment - by shopping around the country instead of always relying on local providers. Employer health plans, which cover roughly 153 million people in the U.S., struggle to command competitive prices and quality controls in some markets as health-care providers have consolidated and gained leverage in negotiations."

You can read the entire story to get a sense of the implications here.
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