CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Launches Reward Program For Physicians

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Reward Program For Physicians

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield on Tuesday launched a program toreward physicians for practices that improve the health outcomes of patients,an "approach it believes could ultimately lower medical costs," the Baltimore Sun reports. Under the program -- whichwas developed with standards from national organizations including Medicare,medical specialty societies and the NationalCommittee for Quality Assurance -- physicians would receive as much as a 7% increase in payments formeeting a variety of care standards. Quality measures include acombination of:

  • Processes, such as whether patients receive recommended screenings;
  • Services, such as whether physicians have weekend or evening hours; and
  • Outcomes, such as whether patients lowered their cholesterol.

Participationin the initiative is voluntary, and all physicians in the CareFirst network areeligible. Primary care physicians and internal medicine specialists will beable to submit data in 2008 to receive higher payments in 2009, with morespecialties added in 2009 and payments for those specialties beginning in 2010(Salganik, Baltimore Sun, 1/16).

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