Ascension Michigan will partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several other providers to launch a new value-based care program, Blueprint for Affordability.

Participants in the risk-sharing model are focused on hitting annual targets for the cost of care for Blue Cross members by earning financial rewards or facing financial penalties for excess spending.

“Ascension’s Advanced Strategic Direction calls us to deliver highly reliable, patient-centered care and continue our commitment to Mission-driven stewardship. Blueprint for Affordability is an innovative contracting model that offers our physicians a new way to participate in this work for the benefit of our patients,” said Kenneth Berkovitz, MD, Ascension Medical Group President-Michigan.

“Blueprint for Affordability is a transformative shift in the way we approach the management of healthcare costs. This first wave of provider partners are true leaders in their industry – and courageous for stepping up and joining us in this bold new approach to promote quality and affordability,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp. “Together with these health organizations, and others we hope will come aboard soon, Blue Cross seeks to permanently change the trajectory of health care costs in Michigan and make healthcare more affordable for people and employers.”

Over time, Blueprint for Affordability should improve the patient experience, boost care quality, reduce unneeded care and services, and better coordinate care across the continuum, Blue Cross said.

The risk-sharing agreements will be effective January 1, 2020, and will cover Blue Cross Commercial PPO and Medicare Advantage PPO plans.