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Foundation Awards $1.3 Million to Integrated Healthcare Association to Improve Medical Device Use
Date:5/30/2008

IHA Plans to Extend Value Assessment and Purchasing Project for Medical Technologies

OAKLAND, Calif., May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California Foundation (BCSF) has awarded a $1,328,000 medical technologies grant to the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) to implement statewide collection of comparative data, evaluate purchasing and payment systems, and develop a new episode-based payment method for medical device purchasing. The grant helps to align physician and hospital interests that are now divided through the practice of direct-to-physician vendor incentives, and is part of the foundation's health and technology program strategy to promote evidence-based clinical best practice and technology adoption among California providers.

"By improving the quality and transparency of the data available regarding medical device use, the IHA project will incentivize surgeons, hospitals, health plans, and the medical device industry to work collaboratively to enhance the value of specialty care delivery in California and throughout the nation," stated Kevin J. Bozic, MD, Associate Professor in Residence University of California, San Francisco Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Institute for Health Policy Studies.

Although IHA is better known for its California pay for performance (P4P) program, it recently completed a two-year value assessment and purchasing project in Orange County, also funded by BSCF, to improve data transparency and payment methods for high-value medical devices, including orthopedic and cardiac implants, in the California health care system.

Crystal Hayling, President and CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation commented, "IHA has a successful history of multi-stakeholder collaboration among hospitals, physician organizations, and health insurance plans." Hayling added, "The grant is awarded to IHA to evaluate medical technology used in cardiology and orthopedics, providing California hospi
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SOURCE Integrated Healthcare Association
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