Blue Shield Awards $20 Million To Bolster Participation in ACOs
On Monday, Blue Shield of California announced it will provide about $20 million in grants to 18 teams of health care providers to develop accountable care organizations, the San Francisco Business Times reports (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/17).
The federal health reform law calls for expanding ACOs to help improve patient care and reduce health care costs (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 10/18).
Blue Shield is providing the grants as part of the fulfillment of a pledge it made earlier this year to cap profits at 2% of revenue (San Francisco Business Times, 10/17).
Last week, Blue Shield said it would provide $283 million in credits to about two million policyholders as part of the profit cap pledge (Los Angeles Times, 10/18).
Details of the Grants
The amount of the grants represents an average of $10 million for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/17).
Blue Shield officials said that the initial grants will total $19.37 million and that the remaining amount will be held in reserve to evaluate implementation and address any additional needs the grantees might have (San Francisco Business Times, 10/17).
The funding amounts range from $300,000 to $2 million.
Some of the grants will be used to implement information systems, which include health data exchanges, electronic health record systems and predictive modeling tools (Goedert, Health Data Management, 10/17).
A full list of grant recipients is available from a Blue Shield release.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.