Evaluating the Global Payment Model Developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts


Among the variety of provider payment reform options that have been proposed, the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, holds special promise to improve quality and efficiency, in part because of its use of incentives. The contract provides the hospitals and physicians caring for a patient over an episode of care with a monthly, risk-adjusted global payment that covers all services delivered. This baseline payment is supplemented with substantial performance-based payments linked to nationally recognized quality measures. Pilot-testing with medical groups began in January 2009, and thus far seven care delivery organizations have agreed to participate in the AQC. This project will assess whether the new payment method improves the quality of patient care and controls costs, and whether it can serve as a model for other health plans.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Principal Investigator:
Michael Chernew, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 14, 2009

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