News and Events

Bridges to Excellence and eHealth Initiative Form New Business Agreement

April 4, 2006

Organizations Will Maintain Separate Boards Of Directors, Separate Identities But Will Work Collaboratively To Promote Quality in Healthcare

For more information, contact:
Janet Firshein, 301.652.1558, [email protected]
Karla Hurter, 571.276.3116, [email protected]

Washington, D.C. - In a move that could spur greater use of information technology as a way to deliver better health care, Bridges to Excellence (BtE), one of the largest pay-for-performance programs in the United States, has formed a new business relationship with the eHealth Initiative (eHI), a multi-stakeholder organization that supports the use of health information exchange to drive improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare in hundreds of communities nationwide. As of April 3, 2006, eHI began managing BtE's operations and serving as its administrative arm.

BtE is positioned to align with a complementary organization with both the dedicated staff and resources to help it grow. Under the new services agreement signed by both organizations, BtE and eHI will maintain separate legal identities and boards of directors but will share management support to enhance administrative efficiency.

In keeping with that spirit, the leadership of both organizations will remain intact. BtE will continue to be run by co-founder Francois de Brantes, who has stepped down from leading health initiatives at General Electric and is now devoting his full-time efforts to helping BtE transition and grow. eHI will continue to be led by its current CEO Janet Marchibroda.

"This is not a merger or a marriage," says BtE President Dale Whitney, Vice President, Benefits at the United Parcel Service. "It is a growing business relationship between two organizations that complement one another and have comparable goals but will remain independent entities."

"This relationship makes sense because both organizations are working to transform health care throughout the United States," says John Glaser, president of eHI and chief information officer for Partners HealthCare System in Boston. "eHI is driving transformation by engaging multiple stakeholders at the state and local levels to mobilize health information electronically. BtE is driving transformation by engaging healthcare purchasers and health plans to develop and deploy rewards to physicians for higher quality healthcare and wider use of information technology," he says.

"You need the appropriate incentives in place if you want to improve quality of care and encourage organizations to invest in information technology. This relationship underscores the value of IT in achieving the goals that BtE has set for practice improvement," says John Tooker, MD, FACP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American College of Physicians, and president of the eHealth Initiative Foundation.

For the most part, the members, partners and customers of both eHI and BtE will see few changes in their interactions with each organization. The mission, goals, objectives and plans of each organization will remain.

Still, this new business relationship will enable each organization to leverage a broader set of tools and resources to promote quality improvement. eHI will inform and educate the states, regions, and communities with which it works of the role that Bridges plays to improve quality of care. BtE will become part of eHI's portfolio of tools and it will be able to benefit from exposure to a network of more than 250 communities around the country that are engaged in improving the quality of care by electronically interconnecting patients, hospitals, physicians and other providers.

"We've worked to get information to providers electronically in states and communities nationwide but what has been difficult for eHI has been providing a sustainable model that not only creates quality goals but also the information infrastructure to get there," says eHI CEO Janet Marchibroda.

"There are only two tools to engage physicians and hospitals in making significant improvements in the quality of care they deliver - information and recognition. eHI has focused on making the first available and BtE has focused on making the second available. Working together, the organizations can provide a change model for communities and physicians across the country," says BtE's Francois de Brantes.


About the eHealth Initiative and its Foundation
The eHealth Initiative and its Foundation are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations who engage the multiple stakeholders in healthcare, including clinicians, employers, health plans, healthcare IT suppliers, hospitals, laboratories, patient groups, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, pharmacies, and public health agencies, to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. To support states, regions and communities that are improving healthcare through health information exchange, eHI develops and disseminates best practices and tools, provides seed funding support, and provides direct technical assistance to public and private sector leaders at the state and local levels. For more information go to

All rights reserved. BTE 2007.

Bridges to Excellence does not endorse any particular product or service or any physician or physician group.

Bridges to Excellence relies on third -party performance assessment organizations such as the NCQA and Quality Improvement Organizations to measure a physician or physician's group performance and ability to demonstrate that they meet certain measures of quality care.