Q-HIP uses 51 quality measures developed by the Leapfrog Group, the National Quality Forum and other gold-standard organizations to determine hospital performance.
Tying quality to hospital payments at WellPoint started in 2004 in the Virginia market, and today 500 hospitals are participating. As hospitals renew contracts with insurers, they are required to participate, according to WellPoint. The quality payment program was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.
“We are now aggressively promoting it,” said Jill Hummel, vice president of payment innovations at WellPoint. “It's not optional.”
WellPoint estimates the program will reduce its inpatient-care costs of about $25 billion annually by 3 to 5 percentage points over time. WellPoint has about 34 million members.