(Bloomberg) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. says it will more than double payments to physicians tied to quality and cost efficiency within five years, in the latest sign of transformation in the American medical system.

UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. insurer, says it expects to spend about $50 billion under accountable-care contracts by 2017, compared with $20 billion now. The programs already have slowed the increase in medical costs and reduced emergency-room visits by 17%, according to the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based carrier.

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