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Alternative Quality Contract

We believe that doctors and hospitals should be rewarded for delivering high-quality patient care and for helping to keep our members healthy.

In 2008, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts developed an innovative way to pay for care that focuses on promoting quality and rewards positive health outcomes. Our Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) now includes 85 percent of the physicians and hospitals in the Blue Cross HMO network. It is a crucial component of Blue Cross' agenda to make quality health care affordable for its members and employer customers and is the predominant contract model between Blue Cross and its network physicians and hospitals. The alternative payment model fosters shared responsibility for both improving care and moderating the unsustainable rate of increase in health care costs. The AQC is currently one of the largest private payment reform initiatives in the United States and has become a model for state and national policymakers.

Alternative Quality Contract Results
An October 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) shows that AQC has improved the quality of patient care and lowered costs in the four years since it was first implemented. The four-year study by Harvard Medical School researchers offers important lessons for payment reform efforts nationally. Watch this video to learn more about the results from the Harvard researchers.

 

You can also learn more about our Alternative Quality Contract directly from:

Children's Hospital
Children's Hospital Boston and its two physician groups, Children's Physicians' Organization and the Pediatric Physician Organization at Children's (PPOC), are the latest provider groups to join the AQC.

The agreement with Children's and their physician groups is especially important since they are the first pediatric-only hospital and physician groups to sign the contract. This agreement provides further evidence that this innovative payment model can work for a variety of different types of hospitals and physicians, no matter what their size or specialty.

In this video, representatives from both Children's Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts talk more about the significance of this agreement.

Atrius Health
Atrius Health talks about their experience with the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. They agree the AQC is helping them provide higher quality and more affordable care.

Accountable Care Associates in Hampden County, Massachusetts
Accountable Care Associates in Hamden County, Massachusetts talk about their experience with the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. They agree the AQC is helping them provide higher quality and more affordable care.

Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization
Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization talks about their experience with the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. They agree the AQC is helping them provide higher quality and more affordable care.

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