February 9, 2015 - Dallas, TX
Jim Landers - The Dallas Morning News
Two of the most traditional actors in Texas health care are joining forces to see how they can improve quality and lower costs by transforming the way medical care is delivered.
Richardson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the state’s largest health insurer, is going to work with willing physicians in the 48,000-strong Texas Medical Association on value-based payment systems.
These payment models cover a full episode of care rather than each step along the way. They reward health care providers for getting people healthy and keeping them that way. The most cutting edge models punish providers financially if patients get duplicate treatments and tests, are readmitted shortly after being discharged from a hospital or use high-cost facilities.
For more than a century, doctors have relied on fee-for-service payments that encourage the volume of care. Fee-for-service also offers little incentive...