Massachusetts Links Pay for Performance to the Reduction of Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Blustein, Jan, Joel Weissman, Andrew M Ryan, Tim Doran and Romana Hasnain-Wynia.
Health Affairs. 30(6):1165-1175.

The Institute of Medicaid has identified equity as a key dimension of quality. Recently, Massachusetts’ Medicaid program (MassHealth) took the unusual step of linking pay-for-performance (P4P) to the reduction of racial/ethnic disparities for hospital care.  We report on early experience with the program, describing the challenges of implementing an ambitious program in a short time frame, with limited resources.  Our findings raise questions about whether P4P as currently constituted is a suitable tool for addressing disparities in hospital care.

Wagner Faculty