Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has reached an agreement with Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance (BSWQA), Baylor Scott & White’s accountable care organization (ACO) to deliver high-quality and lower cost care to more than 140,000 BCBSTX members in North and Central Texas.
BSWQA is composed of over 6,000 primary and specialty care physician members, 50 hospitals, more than 95 post-acute care facilities and other healthcare stakeholders that agree to be accountable jointly for improving quality, enhancing the patient experience and reducing healthcare costs. BSWQA has earned National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ACO accreditation. NCQA’s ACO accreditation rates the level of preparation by ACOs to improve healthcare quality and efficiency while reducing costs.
An ACO is a healthcare collaboration that, among other things, ties payments to quality measures and the cost of care. ACOs are formed by a group of providers, hospitals, payers and other health care stakeholders committed to being accountable to patients and payers for the quality, appropriateness and efficiency of healthcare services. ACOs strive to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time and at the right cost.
The relationship between BCBSTX and Baylor dates to 1929, when the then-superintendent of Dallas schools, Justin Ford Kimball, became a Baylor University official. Wanting to improve the quality of healthcare for educators, Kimball devised a plan that allowed teachers to contribute to a fund that would guarantee up to 21 days of hospital care at Baylor Hospital. The program became the first Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in the U.S.
Over years, the relationship between BCBSTX and Baylor Scott & White has grown, with the BCBSTX/BSWQA ACO arrangement – effective this month – further linking the two healthcare organizations and serving as an evolution in their professional collaboration.