Wellpoint ties employee bonuses to Member Health Index

Wellpoint, the largest health insurer in the country, has established a Member Health Index (MHI). A Wellpoint press release explains that

WellPoint’s MHI is comprised of 20 clinical areas that reflect the quality of care an individual has received – some developed using national standards and others developed by WellPoint’s clinical experts. These measures focus on prevention and screening, care management, clinical outcomes and patient safety. Together, the measures will be combined in a proprietary statistical model to determine the quality of health care the company’s members receive year after year. For example, for members who have diabetes, the index will help to measure if they are getting necessary eye exams, maintaining their blood sugar level to reduce complications and having their blood pressure level controlled. For children, the index will measure if they received their immunizations. WellPoint will be able to analyze the data in many different sub-populations, including Medicare beneficiaries, Medicaid members and large national employer groups, in order to target improvement efforts.

Wellpoint has announced plans to tie a portion of its employee incentive compensation to improvements in the MHI. According to Wellpoint, “linking progress to incentives represents an effort to ensure that all associates are fully engaged and focused on improving the lives of the people WellPoint serves and the health of its communities.” Yes, indeed.