WellPoint ties hospital payment bumps to quality of care

Indianapolis-based WellPoint, Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, is tying annual payment increases to hospitals to new quality criteria. Reimbursement bumps to hospitals in 14 states where WellPoint does business will be tied to 51 criteria. Health outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction measures will be used to determine the payment increases. The new system is based on a voluntary program in which 500 hospitals are already participating. Most are getting annual increases of 7 percent to 9 percent a year.