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AHCPR: Employers Should Use Power To Boost Quality

More employers and health coalitions are using their market power to promote quality and lower costs — and that's good business, says a fresh Agency for Health Care Policy and Research report.

The report, "Theory and Reality of Value-Based Purchasing: Lessons from the Pioneers," says the pioneers are employers that use their purchasing power to collect data on quality and cost, use the data to select health plans and providers and offer employees financial incentives to enroll in plans with good track records.

In many areas, employers are teaming with government purchasers, such as state Medicaid programs and local health departments, to develop strategies for encouraging quality care in their communities, the report says.

The pioneers listed in the report: Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health, Chicago Business Group on Health, Gateway Purchasing Association, General Motors, Digital Equipment, GTE, the Pacific Business Group on Health, Iowa's Community Health Purchasing Corp. and Pacific Bell.

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