BOSTON (AP) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is committing $25 million to support local health care organizations in their efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in care, the insurer said.
The funding announced Thursday will be distributed by the not-for-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement to physician practices and hospitals to assist in their equity improvement efforts. It will also help them prepare for the rollout of new contracts with financial incentives linked to progress in addressing inequities starting in 2023, officials said.
“We know these changes can’t be made overnight,” Andrew Dreyfus, Blue Cross’ president and CEO, said in a statement. “Addressing deep-rooted inequities requires significant time, energy and staff resources. We recognize that and want to support our clinical partners in this important work, since we all stand to benefit from a more equitable health care system.”
Improving health care equity could mean upgrading data on patient race and ethnicity, or making targeted investments in language capabilities or implementing condition-targeted programs to improve the equity of care for patients with high blood pressure or diabetes, said Blue Cross Senior Vice President Dr. Mark Friedberg.
Blue Cross announced in September that it would partner with the medical community to address disparities.