One of the insurance industry's medical home experiments has slowed costs and significantly lifted quality scores in its second year of operation, raising hopes for pilot programs initiated under the 2010 healthcare reform legislation.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield of Owings Mill, Md., announced Friday that its medical home trial covering 3,600 doctors and nurses had reduced costs by 2.7% last year compared to projections. The savings amounted to $98 million for the estimated 1 million privately insured patients in the 279 medical groups or panels participating in the program.
CareFirst's patient-centered medical homes, in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, offered financial incentives to providers who achieved pre-specified quality and savings targets. The model also gave the primary-care providers extra money to coordinate care for complex, chronically ill patients or those at great risk for such ailments. Doctors also earned a flat bonus for participation. The program operates in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.