Blue Shield of California awards $31 million in P4P programs
Healthcare insurance provider Blue Shield of California reported that it is awarding $31 million in bonuses to medical groups and independent physician associations (IPAs) in California linked to performance. The firm said that nearly half of the payments are part of the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) pay-for-performance (P4P) program which rewards providers for the quality of their healthcare services, including clinical care, patient experience and use of information technology, based on criteria developed by the IHA.

The IHA recently announced statewide results indicating that efforts by Blue Shield and other health plans to reward performance, particularly on the use of information technology, has paid dividends in improved patient care, Blue Shield said. According to IHA's tracking, medical groups that meet the standard for IT use also show significant improvement in clinical results, with an average 18-point difference between clinical scores for groups that use information technology effectively and those that do not.