Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
  You are here : Health.am > Health Centers > Children's Health - Public Health -
New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care

New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care

Children's Health • • Public HealthDec 24, 2013

Within two years of implementation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) had a small but significant positive effect on the quality of pediatric care, according to a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital. The results were published online Dec. 23 in Pediatrics.

To stem the continued growth in health care spending, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts - the state’s largest commercial payer - implemented an AQC in 2009. A prototypical arrangement, the AQC offers providers a baseline budget to cover the continuum of care, while also awarding pay-for-performance bonuses for improved care quality metrics. This AQC was unique for including pediatric quality measures in its contract.

“Because the size and spending levels of the adult population are so much greater than for kids, how large health care contracts affect pediatric patients is often treated as an afterthought,” says the study’s lead author Alyna Chien, MD, from Boston Children’s Division of General Pediatrics. “But children, especially those with chronic or severe medical conditions, can contribute significantly to health care costs. If spending is to be contained, it’s important to understand the impact of the AQC on children as well as adults.”

Researchers compared the quality and cost of care provided to 126,975 cases within the AQC structure against 415,331 similar patients who were not in the AQC, across a study period from 2006 to 2010. Quality measures tied to pay-for-performance rates of preventive/screening care and acute care were analyzed, as was care of asthma and attention deficit disorder, which were not directly tied to bonuses.

“We examined whether the AQC affected asthma and ADHD care in an unintended fashion, since they are the two most common chronic conditions of childhood,” says Chien. “A better understanding of the effect of the AQC on their care and cost could provide much needed insight into how similar pediatric physical or behavioral health conditions are affected.”

New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care After analyzing and aggregating all data, the researchers found the AQC had a small yet significant positive effect on preventive and acute care quality when tied to pay-for-performance models. Children with chronic illness experienced higher quality gains (up 1.8 percent) than children without chronic illness (up 1.2 percent). The AQC had no effect on quality measures not tied to the pay-for-performance model, nor did it have an effect on reducing overall health care costs for children.

“The fact that the quality of preventive and acute care improved under the AQC is encouraging,” Chien says. “Lowering costs likely requires more in-depth tracking, effort and experience.”

###

About Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 13 members of the Institute of Medicine and 14 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Boston Children’s is also the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

###

Provided by ArmMed Media

New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care Bookmark this! New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care

RELATED STORIES:

We are pleased to let readers post comments about an article. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your full name and email.

All comments are reviewed by our editors before they are posted on the site. Just keep it clean, kids. Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

   [advanced search]   
What health info have you recently searched for online?
Disease or condition
Exercise or fitness
Diet, nutrition or vitamins
None of the above


Get free support - Headache Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on HeadacheCare.net


Health Centers







Diabetes

















Health news
  


Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools



   Health newsletter

  





   Medical Links



   RSS/XML News Feed



   Feedback


Add to Yahoo RSS News Feed



Google Reader




Syndicate


This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
Verify here.