Blue Shield of California Awards More Than $19 Million in Grants

Blue Shield of California has announced grants totaling more than $19 million to eighteen California hospitals, health systems, clinics, and physician groups working to develop accountable care organizations.

The grants were awarded as part of BSCA's 2 Percent Pledge, a commitment by the healthcare company to limit its annual net income to 2 percent of revenue and to return the difference collected above that amount to its customers and the community. Accountable care organizations, a key part of delivery system reforms included in the Affordable Care Act, are arrangements between providers and payors in which financial and clinical integration is created to foster greater efficiency and quality in the delivery of care.

Grant recipients include the St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, which was awarded $2 million to implement a quality improvement program that aims to achieve clinical integration among participating physicians, increase patient satisfaction, enable timely medical records, and increase use of generic drugs while decreasing readmissions; Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which received $1.1 million to expand its pediatric medical home models and implement improved care coordination and case management, quality improvement monitoring measures, and an enhanced information technology platform; and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, which was awarded $1 million to implement an ambulatory electronic health record for a hundred and fifty physicians, adopt a community health information exchange for physicians and patients, and develop an information technology strategy to integrate clinical and claims data.

"We received nearly sixty grant applications from providers around the state," said Blue Shield of California executive vice president and chief operating officer Paul Markovich. "This demonstrates overwhelming interest among providers in collaborating to reduce costs and enhance the quality of care....We're proud to support all of our grantees as they work to materially improve care and succeed under federal health reform."

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Blue Shield of California Web site.