26 Apr Applying Value-Based Payment to Health Equity: Spotlight on BCBS Massachusetts Equity Efforts with Provider Organizations
Since 2021, providers who participate in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’s (BCBS MA) Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) have received data on equity performance and support from the payer for equity improvement efforts. Starting on January 1, 2023, BCBS MA began incorporating pay-for-equity financial incentives for the inaugural cohort of AQC provider groups, making it one of a burgeoning group of payers to explicitly link payment to equity in an effort to address health inequities across populations and conditions.
On Wednesday, April 26, the Health Care Transformation Task Force hosted Dr. Mark Friedberg, Senior Vice President for Performance Measurement and Improvement at BCBS MA, Deanna Fulp, Senior Director, Health Equity at BCBS MA, along with Juan Fernando Lopera, Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer at Beth Israel Lahey Health, an AQC-participating provider system, to discuss the following:
- Defining aspects of the culture at BCBS MA that supported the investment in designing and implementing a health equity-specific payment incentive
- The data volume, quality, and infrastructure that are critical to launching and sustaining this effort
- The importance of payer and provider collaboration in investing in and establishing a pay-for-equity model
- Factors that attracted providers to participate, and early indicators of resulting changes
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