Evaluation of the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) Initiative Component Three: An Assessment of the Impact of the Initiative on Health Care Delivery

What effects has the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) had on purchasing behavior? Under this grant, researchers at the University of Minnesota supplemented their analysis of the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) initiative underway in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Building on their prior HCFO project, which included collecting data on BHCAG members costs, utilization and quality of health services in 1996 (pre-BHCAG initiative), they analyzed similar data for 1997 and 1998 to examine the effect of the initiative. Objectives of this second phase included: 1) an examination of the specific aggregate utilization patterns of health services provided to BHCAG enrollees before and after the initiative was implemented, and an identification of diagnoses where changes were most evident; 2) a comparison of utilization patterns across Care Systems before and after the initiative, with an emphasis on specific conditions; 3) an exploration of the association between Care Systems’ organizational or other characteristics and selected patterns of care; and 4) an assessment of the degree to which there are differences in enrollee case-mix across care systems and the potential explanations for, and implications for any differences. The objective of this study was to compare detailed post-initiative utilization data with pre-initiative utilization data to assess the impact of the BHCAG initiative on costs of care, treatment patterns and utilization of health services.