Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is placing clinics into cost-and-quality trials, following a similar program it started for hospitals last year. The three-tiered system ranks hospitals by cost effectiveness, which garnered criticism when some of the state's best providers ranked low despite high quality. The clinic-ranking system takes into account quality, but "if there is not a lot of variation in office scores, then the tier is assigned by price, BCBS chief medical officer David Plocher, M.D. told the Star Tribune. The program is designed to save money by making it more expensive for patients to attend less cost-effective facilities. A monetary award is given to the highest-performing clinics.
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