Blue Cross of California Has Paid $28 Million to Providers Under Incentive Plan
Blue Cross of California announced Wednesday that it has paid $28 million in incentives to contracted physician groups through its HMO Quality Scorecard program, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The program, implemented in 2001, rewards physician groups based on scores they receive for internal quality and clinical performance, member satisfaction and preventive care. Of 160 physician groups eligible for the bonus incentives, about 80 received them. According to the scorecard, St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group was the best medical group in Southern California and Hill Physicians Medical Group was the best group in Northern California. Dr. Jeff Kamill, a Blue Cross vice president and corporate medical director, said in a statement, "The restructuring of our financial incentives has been well received by both consumers and physicians. We know that doctors who receive rewards for superior performance based on their clinical and patient satisfaction skills are more satisfied and have more appreciative patients." But Dr. Vincent Riccardi, president of American Medical Consumers in La Crescenta, said, "Physicians should be concerned if a for-profit organization is judging how well they are performing." In a statement, Dr. Scott Smith, medical director of St. Joseph Heritage Medical group, said, "Blue Cross' shift to these quality- and service-based rewards programs will favorably affect the underlying goal of managed care to improve the overall health of our patients and community by putting quality first" (Pondel, Los Angeles Daily News, 9/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.