NU Online News Service, Jan. 16, 11:06 a.m. – Six large California managed care companies have agreed to base 2003 group medical practice pay scales partly on quality performance ratings.

The Integrated Health Association, Walnut Creek, Calif., the group setting up the “Pay for Performance” program, says program managers will rate group practices on patient satisfaction, quality of preventive care, and quality of care for chronic conditions.

All physician groups will be eligible to join the Pay for Performance program, the healthcare association says.

The six participating carriers are units of Aetna Inc., Hartford; WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Blue Shield of California, San Francisco; CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia; Health Net Inc., Los Angeles; and PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.

Members of the Integrated Healthcare Association include the carriers, physician groups and other health care organizations, the healthcare association says.

GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C., Middlesex, United Kingdom, a large drug company, paid for the Pay for Performance planning effort.