GROUP TO SUPPORT NATIONAL PROGRAM REWARDING PHYSICIANS WHO
PROVIDE CARE CONSISTENT WITH EVIDENCE-BASED BEST PRACTICES
Group to promote Bridges to Excellence, an employer-sponsored
coalition pioneering an innovative program that recognizes
and rewards quality physician-delivered medical care.
Over 20 major employers already considering this employer-paid
program that promotes and rewards outstanding medical care
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) today announced it has
entered into an agreement with Bridges to Excellence
to implement its program that recognizes and rewards quality
physician care. Bridges to Excellence is an initiative led
by an employer coalition of eight large national companies.
The model uses the National Committee for Quality Assurance's
(NCQA) widely accepted evidence-based measures of quality
and its associated administrative services to evaluate the
consistency of clinical care against best practice standards.
the first of its kind between Bridges to Excellence and
a health care company, will augment UnitedHealth Group's
leading portfolio of initiatives that focus on improving
health care outcomes. UnitedHealth Group will encourage
and support physicians to apply for recognition by NCQA,
and as a result, become eligible for financial rewards that
accompany that recognition. As part of the initiative, all
UnitedHealth Group enrollees will have convenient access
to the names of the physicians who have achieved recognition
for the quality of care that they provide in the specific
organizations have recently put toes in the water regarding
evaluating medical care at the physician level," said
NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "UnitedHealth Group
has taken a big leap, and as a result, those they serve
should see some real benefits. We know from our experience
working with physicians that promoting evidence-based care
results in better outcomes. It's a simple model and we know
that it works."
Bridges to Excellence program uses the NCQA recognition
process to evaluate and reward physician's clinical actions
in three areas of particular importance to Americans and
their employers: high quality cardiovascular care; high
quality diabetes care; and the reduction of medical errors.
The NCQA develops its widely accepted evidence-based standards
by working with nationally recognized partners such as the
American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Heart
Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), as well
as with physician experts.
excited by this expansion of our collaboration with customers
and physicians to enhance health care outcomes," said
Vince Kerr, M.D., president of Care Solutions at UnitedHealth
Group. "Good physicians deserve to be recognized for
their efforts and patients deserve to know the physicians
who are providing care consistent with the best scientific
evidence. Bridges to Excellence, combined with the UnitedHealth
Premium program, enhances our ability to ensure that
we can help organize health services that result in the
right care for the right person at the right time."
component of the Bridges to Excellence program is the financial
rewards that accompany recognition of quality. Participating
employers contribute to a pool that is subsequently made
available to eligible physicians meeting the NCQA recognition
"It is our
belief that the improved quality of care that results from
performance measurement and feedback to physicians, as well
as more informed decisions by consumers, will ultimately
result in cost savings for the purchasers of care,"
said Dale Whitney, Corporate Health Care Manager at UPS
and a leader of the Bridges to Excellence effort.
Group has been supporting physicians with evidence-based
data sharing and performance feedback for years, and the
Bridges to Excellence model is a natural fit for the company
and the constituencies it serves," said Dr. Kerr. "This
agreement enables UnitedHealth Group to continue to advance
meaningful initiatives in this important field."
UnitedHealth Group (www.unitedhealthgroup.com)
is a diversified Fortune 100 company headquartered in Minneapolis,
Minn., that provides a broad spectrum of resources and services
to help people achieve improved health and well being through
all stages of life. UnitedHealth Group offers products and
services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare,
Ovations, AmeriChoice, Uniprise, Specialized Care Services
and Ingenix. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth
Group serves more than 55 million individuals nationwide.
Bridges to Excellence
The Bridges to Excellence coalition is a not-for-profit
organization created to encourage diverse significant leaps
in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding health
care providers who demonstrate that they deliver safe, timely,
effective, efficient and patient-centered care. Bridges
to Excellence participants include large employers, health
plans, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, MEDSTAT
and WebMD Health, among others. The organizations are united
in their shared goal of improving health care quality through
measurement, reporting, rewards and education.