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angle-left Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Awards Hospitals $24.2 Million for Quality Improvements

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Awards Hospitals $24.2 Million for Quality Improvements

For Immediate Release:  2018-02-21

Contact:  Liz Martin, (315) 671-6408

Thirty-eight upstate New York hospitals and health centers last year earned $24.2 million in quality improvement payments from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of its performance incentive program. Since 2005, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s program has paid out more than $256 million.

“We are very pleased that continued collaboration with our provider partners has resulted in improved quality of care for the communities we jointly serve. Aligning incentives across payers and providers will continue to advance care delivery and related outcomes,” said Carrie Whitcher, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield vice president health care improvement.

Seven hospitals in the Central New York region participated in this program in 2017, sharing $5.4 million in quality improvement incentive payments. Among the participants were Cortland Regional Medical Center, Crouse Hospital, Oswego Hospital,  St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Upstate University Health System (two sites). 

In 2017, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Hospital Performance Incentive Program evaluated participating hospitals on 48 unique performance measures. Hospitals that received quality improvement incentive payments achieved 88 percent of all quality improvement targets.

In addition to achieving required clinical and patient safety measures in 2017, other nationally endorsed measures and target outcomes were jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer using benchmarks established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and others.                                                                  

Areas targeted for 2017 improvement included:

Clinical Processes of Care - Focused on improvements in diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and surgical care, and other measures that may be unique to each participating hospital.

Patient Safety - Centered on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, readmissions  and other adverse events or errors that affect patient care.

Patient Satisfaction - Used the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, which is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.

“By improving the processes for caring for people, by concentrating on reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections and adverse events, by listening to patients’ concerns, these hospitals are giving our members better quality care and improving their health outcomes,” Whitcher said.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit