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Blue Cross Massachusetts CEO Sends Message Out for All To Get Involved in Reducing Costs

Posted Jan 23 2011 12:21pm

What is interesting here is that the one company who has negotiated higher rates n the area, Partners, who has even had a few bragging rights on how they have done this with carriers, is now stating they will come to the table.  Earlier this year there were new contracts signed and basically the employers were given less expensive premium rates under a new plan if they boycotted the use of 15 hospitals where they pointed out their charges were much higher. 

To answer the call here on lower premiums and other financials, Partners decided to refinance their debt in January of this year. 

In addition there’s the medical device vendors who can also share in the cost side and with doctors compensation, you still have those who are very well compensated versus your family practice doctor who is at the low end of the totem pole who is the gateway for all other medical services and yet they are paid the least and we get back to the old specialists versus general practice compensation items that has built over the years.  BD 

The chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, is calling on hospitals and doctors to step up efforts to contain health care costs, warning that those insisting on traditional fee-for-service contracts will face level or reduced payments from his company.

Andrew Dreyfus, who took the helm at Blue Cross Blue Shield in August, last week sent a letter to more than 400 leaders of hospitals and physicians practices, applying pressure on them to switch to a global payment plan. Under such a system, medical care providers are put on an annual budget and given incentives to control costs and improve care instead of being paid for individual doctors visits and procedures.

Dreyfus, who once worked in state government and for the Massachusetts Hospital Association, said Blue Cross Blue Shield will take a hard line in negotiations with hospitals and doctors that don’t agree to accept global payments. “Fee-for-service payment rates cannot continue to rise if we are to meet the community’s goal of affordable care,’’ he wrote. “Ultimately, we must continue our work to identify ways to reduce the level of payments.’’

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