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(1/149) Raising the bar: the use of performance guarantees by the Pacific Business Group on Health.

In 1996 the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) negotiated more than two dozen performance guarantees with thirteen of California's largest health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on behalf the seventeen large employers in its Negotiating Alliance. The negotiations put more than $8 million at risk for meeting performance targets with the goal of improving the performance of all health plans. Nearly $2 million, or 23 percent of the premium at risk, was refunded to the PBGH by the HMOs for missed targets. The majority of plans met their targets for satisfaction with the health plan and physicians, as well as cesarean section, mammography, Pap smear, and prenatal care rates. However, eight of the thirteen plans missed their targets for childhood immunizations, refunding 86 percent of the premium at risk.  (+info)

(2/149) A multiple case study of implementation in 10 local Project ASSIST coalitions in North Carolina.

Community health promotion relies heavily on coalitions to address a multitude of public health issues. In spite of their widespread use, there have been very few studies of coalitions at various stages of coalition development. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that facilitated or impeded coalition effectiveness in the implementation stage of coalition development. The research design was a multiple case study with cross-case comparisons. Each of the 10 local North Carolina Project ASSIST coalitions constituted a case. Data collection included: semi-structured interviews, observation, document review, and surveys of members and staff. Some of the major factors that facilitated implementation included: the ability of the coalition to provide its own vision, staff with the skills and time to work with the coalition, frequent and productive communication, cohesion or a sense of belonging on the coalition, and complexity of the coalition structure during the intervention phase. Barriers to effective implementation included: staff turnover and staff lacking community organization skills, dependence on the state-level staff during the planning phase and lack of member input into the action plan. Conflict contributed to staff turnover, reluctance to conduct certain activities and difficulty in recruiting members, all of which had implications for implementation.  (+info)

(3/149) Identification and assessment of high-risk seniors. HMO Workgroup on Care Management.

CONTEXT: Many older adults with chronic illnesses and multidimensional needs are at high risk of adverse health outcomes, poor quality of life, and heavy use of health-related services. Modern proactive care of older populations includes identification of such high-risk individuals, assessment of their health-related needs, and interventions designed both to meet those needs and to prevent undesirable outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This paper outlines an approach to the tasks of identifying and assessing high-risk seniors. Intervention identification of high-risk seniors (also called case finding) is accomplished through a combination of periodic screening, recognition of high-risk seniors by clinicians, and analysis of administrative databases. Once identified, potentially high-risk individuals undergo on initial assessment in eight domains: cognition, medical conditions, medications, access to care, functional status, social situation, nutrition, and emotional status. The initial assessment is accomplished in a 30- to 45-minute interview conducted by a skilled professional--usually one with a background in nursing. The data are used to link some high-risk persons with appropriate services and to identify others who require more detailed assessments. Detailed assessment is often performed by interdisciplinary teams of various compositions and methods of operation, depending on local circumstances. CONCLUSION: The rapid growth in Medicare managed care is presenting many opportunities for developing more effective strategies for the proactive care for older populations. Identification and assessment of high-risk individuals are important initial steps in this process, paving the way for testing of interventions designed to reduce adverse health consequences and to improve the quality of life.  (+info)

(4/149) Reporting comparative results from hospital patient surveys.

Externally-reported assessments of hospital quality are in increasing demand, as consumers, purchasers, providers, and public policy makers express growing interest in public disclosure of performance information. This article presents an analysis of a groundbreaking program in Massachusetts to measure and disseminate comparative quality information about patients' hospital experiences. The article emphasizes the reporting structure that was developed to address the project's dual goals of improving the quality of care delivered statewide while also advancing public accountability. Numerous trade-offs were encountered in developing reports that would satisfy a range of purchaser and provider constituencies. The final result was a reporting framework that emphasized preserving detail to ensure visibility for each participating hospital's strengths as well as its priority improvement areas. By avoiding oversimplification of the results, the measurement project helped to support a broad range of successful improvement activity statewide.  (+info)

(5/149) HRSA's Models That Work Program: implications for improving access to primary health care.

The main objective of the Models That Work Campaign (MTW) is improving access to health care for vulnerable and underserved populations. A collaboration between the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and 39 cosponsors--among them national associations, state and federal agencies, community-based organizations, foundations, and businesses--this initiative gives recognition and visibility to innovative and effective service delivery models. Models are selected based on a set of criteria that includes delivery of high quality primary care services, community participation, integration of health and social services, quantifiable outcomes, and replicability. Winners of the competition are showcased nationally and hired to provide training to other communities, to document and publish their strategies, and to provide onsite technical assistance on request.  (+info)

(6/149) Early experience with a new model of employer group purchasing in Minnesota.

The Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) in the Twin Cities has implemented a new purchasing initiative that offers employees a choice among care systems with nonoverlapping networks of primary care providers. These systems offer a standardized benefit package, submit annual bids, and are paid on a risk-adjusted basis. Employees are provided with information on quality and other differences among systems, and most have financial incentives to choose lower-cost systems. Generally, providers have responded favorably to direct contracting and to risk-adjusted payments but have concerns about the risk-adjustment mechanism used and, more importantly, the strength of employers' commitment to the purchasing model.  (+info)

(7/149) The pursuit of quality by business coalitions: a national survey.

The extent to which business coalitions and their employer members are catalysts for improving quality of care is of interest to policymakers, who need to know where and under what circumstances the marketplace succeeds on its own in assuring quality. Using data from the 1998 National Business Coalition on Health annual survey, this paper indicates that most coalitions have an infrastructure in place that could be tapped to advance quality goals. Although the survey data cannot tell us the extent to which coalitions are exercising their enhanced market influence specifically to improve quality, interviews with coalition leaders provide insights about how quality considerations can factor into coalition strategies.  (+info)

(8/149) Beyond cost: 'responsible purchasing' of managed care by employers.

We explore the extent of "responsible purchasing" by employers--the degree to which employers collect and use nonfinancial information in selecting and managing employee health plans. Most firms believe that they have some responsibility for assessing the quality of the health plans they offer. Some pay attention to plan characteristics such as the ability to provide adequate access to providers and services and scores on enrollee satisfaction surveys. A more limited but still notable number of firms take specific actions based on responsible purchasing information. Because of countervailing pressures, however, it is not clear whether or not the firms most involved in responsible purchasing are signaling a developing trend.  (+info)