Showing posts from May, 2011

Outcome-Based Performance Measurement Is Becoming the Norm

Hospitals across the country are being pushed and dragged into outcome-based performance measurement systems with increasing incentives for providing quality care and better outcomes. Proponents argue that such systems discourage unnecessary treatments, keep people healthier, and reduce overall costs.

Janet Adams reports in today’s Wall Street Journal ("Wellpoint Shakes Up Hospital Payments," May 16, 2011, B1) that Wellpoint Inc. is raising the stakes for 1,500 hospitals in 14 states serving 34 million people on its Blue Cross Blue Shield plans by cutting off annual payment increases to the hospitals if they fail to deliver quality patient care. Under the new system, Wellpoint will pay increases only to those hospitals that earned them by scoring high enough on outcome measures of treatment quality including how satisfied patients were with the care they received. The change is part of a broader trend in the health care industry toward a compensation approach for health ca…