Blue Cross Blue Defend of Massachusetts has entered into value-based fee 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 Normal Brigham and Boston Accountable Care Group, which is a part of Boston Medical Heart. In whole, 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 one of these program, claimed Dr. Mark Friedberg, senior vice chairman of efficiency measurement and enchancment of the insurer.
“Our purpose is to eradicate inequities within the care our members obtain and to assist create a extra equitable, reasonably priced well being care system,” Friedberg wrote in an electronic mail. “We wish to have interaction 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 may also concentrate on colorectal most cancers screenings and Beth Israel Lahey will handle complete diabetes care. These measures had been chosen as a result of they’d “adequate fairness gaps” amongst massive populations throughout a number of races and ethnicities, Friedberg mentioned. As this system evolves, extra 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 Heart 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 check BCBS Massachusetts’ work in well being fairness.
In 2021, BCBS Massachusetts started amassing information on racial disparities in healthcare amongst its members and medical companions. This information 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 Normal Brigham are among the many first to participate in these fee contracts, we’re prepared and keen so as to add extra well being care organizations,” Friedman mentioned.
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