TO EXCELLENCE COALITION ISSUES FIRST BONUS PAYMENTS TO DOCTORS
FOR EXEMPLARY DIABETES CARE
program is one of three designed to drive and fund better
health care; programs will also help consumers find top
- Top-performing doctors in Cincinnati and
Louisville, Ky., were recently recognized and rewarded for
participating in the Diabetes Care Link program, which was
launched in April of this year by the "Bridges to Excellence"
coalition. Bridges to Excellence (BTE) was created to recognize
and reward higher quality care and is made up of physicians,
health plans and several of the nation's largest employers,
including General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Verizon,
UPS and Ford.
want doctors to know that delivering better care now has
tangible as well as personal and professional benefits,"
said Francois de Brantes, Program Leader for GE's Corporate
Health Care Initiatives, and lead coordinator of the BTE
effort. "The rewards that Bridges to Excellence pays
out helps doctors to reinvest in themselves and their practices
to adopt the kinds of support systems necessary to deliver
truly top-notch care. Good health care isn't free--our goal
with BTE is to make the investment in quality a rational
one for doctors."
the first program, Diabetes Care Link, doctors who demonstrate
that they deliver excellent care are "recognized"
in two ways. First, their names and practices are highlighted
in physician directories distributed or made available online
by participating companies to help employees and family
members identify those doctors best suited for treating
diabetes. In addition, recognized doctors also receive individual
bonuses of $100 for each diabetic employee or eligible family
member they treat. The largest such payment to date was
$7,500, but larger payments are possible and, in fact, likely
as more physicians participate in the months and years ahead.
The first payment is one of three potential payments to
be issued annually through 2005.
qualify for reward payments, physicians' performance is
measured based on an existing Physician Recognition program
developed and maintained by the National Committee for Quality
Assurance (NCQA) and the American Diabetes Association.
Doctors who earn recognition must show that they provide
important screenings and work with patients with diabetes
to control their blood pressure, blood sugar and lipid levels.
Recognized physicians perform at levels well above the norm
in these areas, while establishing a record of substantial,
consistent improvement. For example, the rate of patients
with properly controlled blood pressure increased from 50
percent in 1997 to 64 percent in 2002.
played a lead role in developing this pay-for-performance
effort and devising a compensation structure that would
encourage investments in quality among their fellow doctors.
The diabetes initiative is the first of three areas of focus.
Office systems and cardiovascular care are the other two
targets of the program, with substantial incentive rewards
tied to performance in each area.
to Excellence was created to address a fundamental goal
of improving the quality of health care," said de Brantes.
"Recognizing these doctors and issuing their first
bonuses for the Diabetes Care Link after launching the program
just six months ago is proof that we're committed to achieving
this goal. And this is merely the beginning. By next year,
we plan to issue several more checks--and for greater amounts.
It's our hope that more physicians in these communities
will strive for certification and recognition for outstanding
Care Link was introduced in two metro areas that are heavily
populated by employees of the companies supporting the program--Cincinnati
and Louisville, Ky. The second initiative, Physician Office
Link, will be launched in Boston later this year, and the
Cardiac Care Link is targeted to launch early next year
in New York State.
more information on Bridges to Excellence or to find out
how to participate as an employer or a physician, visit
the program's Web site at www.bridgestoexcellence.com
Bridges to Excellence
Bridges to Excellence coalition is a not-for-profit organization
created to encourage significant leaps in the quality of
care by recognizing and rewarding health care providers
who demonstrate that they deliver safe, timely, effective,
efficient, equitable and patient-centered care. Bridges
to Excellence participants include large employers, health
plans, the National Committee for Quality Assurance and
MEDSTAT, among others. The organizations are united in their
shared goal of improving health care quality through measurement,
reporting, rewards and education.