Navigation Links
New health-care payment system slows spending while improving patient care
Date:7/15/2011

In a new study with implications for state and federal efforts to reform payments to doctors and hospitals to encourage greater coordination of care, Harvard Medical School researchers found that a global payment system underway in Massachusetts lowered medical spending while improving the quality of patient care relative to the traditional fee-for-service system.

The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), which was first introduced by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) in 2009 and now includes more than a third of the insurer's provider network.

Among the study's findings:

  • The medical spending was nearly 2% lower among physicians and hospitals participating in the AQC compared with those working under traditional fee-for-service contracts.
  • Importantly, for physicians and hospitals with no previous experience in a global payment model, spending was 6% lower than that of providers in traditional fee-for-service contracts.
  • These year-one savings were largely the result of physicians changing referral patterns and shifting care to lower-cost facilities
  • By the end of year-1, quality of care among AQC providers was significantly higher than that of non-AQC providers in the BCBSMA network, especially for adults with chronic illness and for children.
  • Because the AQC contract shared savings with providers, rewarded providers for quality and, in some cases, include provider support for infrastructure development, the total dollars paid to AQC groups in the first year likely exceeded the savings achieved through reduced medical spending.
  • This outcome reflects the design of the AQC, which focuses on slowing the growth of spending and improving quality initially, rather than saving money in the first year.

"The finding of reduced spending, together with improved quality in year-one of the contract is significant," says senior author Dr. Michael Chernew, Harvard Medical School. "For policymakers contemplating improved payment models for US health care, reducing medical spending while improving quality and outcomes is the Holy Grail. While much remains to be seen over the next years of these AQC contracts and as the model expands to other providers, these early results provide reason for optimism."

Chernew noted that changes in referral patterns like the kind accomplished in the AQC's first year can subsequently affect pricing in the health care market, as high-price facilities feel pressure from decreased volume. He also noted that the significance of the changes in physician thinking and behavior that are required to accomplish such changes in practice should not be understated.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Strategies increase health-care worker vaccination rates -- protecting patients
2. Showdown Over Health-Care Reform Bill Nears
3. House Democrats Approve Health-Care Reform Bill
4. House of Representatives Approves Health-Care Reform Bill
5. Decreasing health-care costs is focus of new informatics book by NJIT professor
6. Study finds surgical masks provided effective protection of health-care workers against H1N1
7. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is heading for a health-care crisis
8. Health-care economics and policy: Its a perfect storm
9. Regional variation in health-care spending and utilization higher in Medicare than private sector
10. Reminding health-care staff to remove catheters reduces infections by half
11. Canada needs health-care leadership at federal level
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/15/2017)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2017 , ... ... a stylistic slideshow with complete customization and ease," said Christina Austin - CEO of ... of controls so that users can edit the style and animation of their slideshows. ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Climbing Gym is excited to ... on the 14,000+ square foot climbing gym, the owners anticipate to open sometime in ... Jersey and two in New York. With this being its first location in Pennsylvania, ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... incorporating a magnesium-rich Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, ... that the many health and wellness benefits linked to a Mediterranean diet are ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... that raise blood sugar levels. Counting carbohydrates is as easy as checking the ... only nutrient that affects blood sugar levels. Despite being sugar-free, proteins can influence ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... ... KOAMTAC ®, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Bluetooth barcode scanners and ... data collector at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show (NRF17) held January 15-17 in ... market’s need for more compact and rugged devices for collecting barcode data paired with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... Jan. 13, 2017  Alfalfa, cattle, leafy greens and rosy ... sampling film , which emphasizes the food industry,s shift from ... how COPAN,s Swab Rinse Kit ... surface sampling process in the wake of the new ... COPAN is expanding the U.S. production of ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Pa. , Jan. 13, 2017  Secretary of ... of students, professors, and community members at Misericordia University ... opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania . ... crisis I,ve seen so far in my professional career," ... has been hit hard by heroin and ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... BOISE, Idaho , Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... status by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) ... the largest national food and drug chain with ... service for pharmacy patients. Accreditation by ... meeting national standards to facilitate a higher level ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: