Harvard Study Shows Global Payments Improve Healthcare While Controlling Costs

Based on their study findings, researchers have concluded healthcare providers can improve and sustain high healthcare quality while controlling costs through a global payment approach, according to a news release from Harvard Medical School.
For their study, researchers analyzed 2006-2009 claims data for members whose primary care physicians were in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' alternative quality contract, which mirrors the global payment approach, and compared that data pool to members who were not in the alternative quality contract.

Researchers discovered the following key findings:

•    Medical spending was nearly 2 percent lower among physicians and hospitals participating in the alternative quality contract, compared with those working under traditional fee-for-service contracts.
•    For physicians and hospitals with no previous experience in a global payment model, spending was 6 percent lower than that of providers in traditional fee-for-service contracts.
•    Year-one savings were largely the result of physicians changing referral patterns and shifting care to lower-cost facilities.
•    Quality of care among alternative quality care providers was significantly higher than that of non-alternative contract providers.

Read the news release about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' alternative quality contract.

Related Articles on Global Payments in Healthcare:
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Massachusetts Legislators Consider Gov. Deval Patrick's ACO Proposal
6 Ways ACOs Differ From HMOs

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