Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 32 states are offering physician pay-for-performance programs and plans in 14 other states say they will implement such programs in the near future, according to a survey by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation on Health Care.
According to the Blues, 68% of eligible primary-care physicians and 48% of eligible specialists are participating in the programs. When the programs are implemented in the 46 states, 84 million Americans will "stand to reap the benefits of the improved quality of care," said Scott Serota, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
Health plans have a long history of pay-for-performance initiatives, and the federal government has recently adopted such programs including its most recent effort, a three-year demonstration project that began April 1. That program pays medical groups bonuses to improve care while lowering costs to the Medicare program.