Health Insurer Bonus Program Akin to 'Pay for Performance'

April 3, 2007 ( - WellPoint Inc. has announced a new employee bonus plan that will link a portion of every employee's annual incentive to improvements in members' health care.

The Associated Press reports that the plan calls for 5% of each annual bonus to be tied to results of a newly-created Member Health Index. The index measures patient care improvement in 20 different clinical areas.

Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, told the AP, if the index reaches an improvement goal set by the company, every employee’s bonus will be adjusted to reflect the achievement. Nussbaum said the index will not only reflect improvements in broad categories like patient safety or care management, but will especially focus on improvement in care for those patients dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure.

According to Nussbaum, linking bonus pay to patient care improvements will “get everyone energized about improving health care in our company.”