Firms offer PCPs bonuses for "medical homes"

A group of giant employers including GE, IBM and Verizon have come together to create a program offering big bonuses to primary care doctors who agree to create "medical homes" for patients. The effort is backed by Bridges to Excellence, a program run by health plans and big employers which has pay-for-performance programs for doctors in 18 states. The new program goes well beyond the process changes physicians must make to get P4P payouts--and pays physicians accordingly. Among its long-term goals is to help doctors finance needed infrastructure improvements such as electronic medical records.

The new program takes a P4P approach, but pushes it much further than many other programs. Rather than just being asked to make sure patients meet preventive care standards, the new program would require primary-care doctors to make bigger changes to how they work, including following up on referrals to other physicians, tracking tests more systematically and monitoring chronic conditions more consistently. Physicians who meet the companies' goals can get $125 annual bonuses for each patient covered by a participating employer, or as much as $100,000 per year. Employers, for their part, can save $250 to $300 per patient during the first year, Bridges to Excellence estimates.

To learn more about the program:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece

Related Articles:
Health plans, MD groups plan 'medical home' project. Report
New Orleans creates medical home for poor residents. Report
Study: Medical homes cut racial care disparities. Report
Policy experts propose new payment schemes (including payments encouraging development of medical homes). Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.