Ahead of the Curve in Value-Based Purchasing

eAlert d48537c9-f056-4b52-acee-6b8a6a40f337

<p>As health care costs continue to rise, many states are faced with difficult options, including higher cost-sharing for public employees, tightened Medicaid eligibility and benefit cuts, or caps on spending. But a handful of states and counties are taking an entirely different approach in addressing rising costs and quality concerns: finding ways to obtain greater value for their health care dollars through "value-based purchasing."<br /><br />In <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=29526&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D515778%26%23doc515778">Value-Driven Health Care Purchasing: Four States That Are Ahead of the Curve,</a> researchers Sharon Silow-Carroll and Tanya Alteras of Health Management Associates offer an in-depth look into dynamic public/private partnerships in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, and Wisconsin. As discussed in an overview report and four individual case studies, these states are setting the bar higher for health care providers and plans by building into their purchasing contracts requirements for data collection, evidence-based medicine, performance incentives, and new information technologies.<br /><br />For example, the Minnesota Smart Buy Alliance, a coalition of state agencies and business and labor groups, has used financial incentives to achieve about $20 million in savings in 2006. Wisconsin's Department of Employee Trust Funds, meanwhile, has managed to keep premium rate increases to the single digits for the third straight year. <br /><br />Read the reports to find out more about how these initiatives were developed, how they are addressing challenges, and what lessons each state has learned along the way.</p>