Blue Cross Blue Defend of Massachusetts has entered into value-based cost contracts targeted on bettering well being fairness with 4 healthcare organizations, the payer introduced Thursday.
The contracts are with Steward Well being Care Community, Beth Israel Lahey Well being, Mass Common Brigham and Boston Accountable Care Group, which is a part of Boston Medical Middle. In complete, these organizations look after greater than 550,000 members of BCBS Massachusetts. Every group will probably be engaged on choose well being fairness measures.
BCBS Massachusetts believes it’s the first well being plan within the nation to offer such a program, claimed Dr. Mark Friedberg, senior vp of efficiency measurement and enchancment of the insurer.
“Our purpose is to get rid of inequities within the care our members obtain and to assist create a extra equitable, reasonably priced well being care system,” Friedberg wrote in an e mail. “We need to interact as many physicians and hospitals in fairness enchancment as we are able to.”
All 4 organizations will probably be initially targeted on decreasing disparities in controlling hypertension. Steward Well being Care Community and Boston Accountable Care Group can even deal with colorectal most cancers screenings and Beth Israel Lahey will handle complete diabetes care. These measures have been chosen as a result of they’d “enough fairness gaps” amongst massive populations throughout a number of races and ethnicities, Friedberg mentioned. As this system evolves, further well being fairness measures will probably be added.
“We are able to incentivize and allow enhancements by tying funds to fairness measures … Every supplier group will obtain larger funds as inequities among the many sufferers they serve get smaller,” Friedberg mentioned.
To trace the success of BCBS Massachusetts’ well being fairness efforts, the Middle for Healthcare Group and Innovation Analysis on the UC Berkeley Faculty of Public Well being will probably be conducting an impartial exterior analysis of the insurer. In August, the Commonwealth Fund awarded the analysis group a greater than $397,000 grant to review BCBS Massachusetts’ work in well being fairness.
In 2021, BCBS Massachusetts started accumulating knowledge on racial disparities in healthcare amongst its members and scientific companions. This knowledge confirmed areas of great inequities, which led to the creation of those value-based contracts, Friedman mentioned.
Whereas the payer is initially beginning with these 4 healthcare organizations, it hopes to enter into value-based contracts for well being fairness with others sooner or later.
“Whereas Steward Well being Care Community, Beth Israel Lahey Well being, Boston Accountable Care Group, and Mass Common Brigham are among the many first to participate in these cost contracts, we’re prepared and keen so as to add further well being care organizations,” Friedman mentioned.
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