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Wellpoint gets aggressive on inpatient payment changes

We’ve heard a lot of whining over the years from private insurers about how they have to pay more because Medicare pays less. But now Wellpoint is going to essentially use the ACA as cover to put all of its hospitals on a pay for performance plan–obviously related to the ACO ideas we’re hearing from CMS. The WSJ reports that all hospitals in Wellpoint’s networks are going to be paid future increases based on a formula for outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction. Thus far private insurers have been laggards in that they haven’t really mixed up payment schemes to incent better behavior by providers–even though nothing was stopping them. They always claimed they would eventually. Maybe eventually is now.

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