Patients to Benefit from New Alliance at EBNHC

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will be joining the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) as one of seven Boston Medical Center (BMC) affiliated neighborhood health centers. The partnership will allow better access for EBNHC patients seeking care at BMC for a wide array of health care services that may not be offered at EBNHC. As part of AQC, EBNHC patients would be able to have their health care needs met while keeping costs low and quality health care standards high.

“East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) provides a range of high quality services to the communities we serve,” said EBNHC President and CEO Jack Cradock. “BMC is a key partner in efficiently and effectively meeting the full spectrum of our patients’ health needs. Joining together in this agreement not only strengthens our ability to provide great care, it’s a model for the kind of innovation in health care delivery we’re all working toward.”

By joining the AQC, BMC is committing to improve the cost and quality of care for EBNHC patients that seek care at Boston Medical Center as well as committing to work with EBNHC and six other health center partners to improve the quality and cost of care for patients receiving their care in a health center setting.

“BMC’s focus is providing high quality, affordable and accessible care to all our patients, and we work closely with our community health center partners to deliver on that high standard, whether it’s here at the hospital or in the community,” said BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh. “Participating in this agreement together gives us an exciting opportunity to coordinate even more closely, and that will mean even better care for our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) patients.”

The agreement will bring nearly 800 additional physicians into the AQC who care for approximately 13,000 of BCBSMA’s in-state HMO members at EBNHC and across the region. The AQC now has more than two-thirds of doctors in BCBSMA’s in-state HMO network participating who provide care to approximately 76 percent of BCBSMA members.

With their significant gains in quality, AQC providers now significantly outperform the rest of BCBSMA’s fee-for-service network on a comprehensive set of quality and outcome measures. This is particularly true in managing chronic illness, preventive care screenings and treating depression. Recent independent studies conducted by Harvard Medical School, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and Brandeis University, published in Health Affairs, found that the AQC is achieving its twin goals of improving care and slowing costs.

“The AQC has become a national model for payment reform and we are pleased that Boston Medical Center has committed to working with us in a deeper, more collaborative way to lower the cost and improve the quality of the care they deliver to their patients,” said President and CEO of BCBSMA Andrew Dreyfus. “The agreement continues to validate that the AQC is an attractive model that can work for a variety of provider organizations – including urban hospitals and community health centers – that are committed to lower the cost and improve the quality of health care.”

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