Although there is movement toward integrating mental health services financing and delivery with the rest of the health care sector, very little is known about the care and costs of mentally ill patients who are enrolled in integrated delivery systems that reimburse providers with global payments. Focusing on provider organizations participating in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), Harvard researchers will analyze differences in mental health services use and spending, as well as total health care spending, between providers whose contracts hold them accountable for mental health outcomes and resource use and providers who do not bear this financial risk. The results will then be compared with a control group of providers not taking part in the AQC. Interviews will further explore how the AQC’s payment incentives are affecting care delivery for patients with mental illness and comorbid chronic conditions.
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President and Fellows of Harvard College
Haiden A. Huskamp, Ph.D., and Colleen L. Barry, Ph.D., M.P.P.