Program Evaluation

Bridges to Excellence Evaluation

BTE’s most important lessons learned since the program’s  launch in 2003 have been presented to members of the Institute Of Medicine’s committee on payment and benefit reform, members of Congress through hearings, and have been published in a number of journals and articles.  The following are a sampling of some of those key lessons learned:

  • Incentives matter and the size of the incentive has a relationship to a physician’s decision to participate in care process improvement.
  • The costs and benefits of participating in an incentive program have to be known by the provider up front.
  • Self-assessment of performance and its validation by an independent third party is a very powerful agent of change.
  • High quality care can be cost effective care.
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In 2003 there were only a handful of physicians and practices participating in performance recognition programs. Today, Bridges to Excellence programs are operating  in over 12 states with thousands of participating recognized physicians who demonstrate that they deliver high levels of care.  

BTE Executive Summary
(Through March 2007)

Recognized Physicians


Recognized Practices


Eligible Patients Seeing Recognized Physicians


BTE Rewards Paid

$7.6 million

States with Operational BTE Programs

(AR, CO, DC, DE, GA, KY, MA, MD, MN, NC, NY, OH)

Better quality can cost less and incentives work.

At the conclusion of BTE’s third year, an extensive evaluation was completed to determine the impact and effectiveness of the programs – Diabetes Care Link, Cardiac Care Link and Physician Office Link.  Results showed that:

  1. Incentives that reward physicians for adopting better systems of care result in physician practice reengineering and adoption of health information technology.
  2. Incentives that reward physicians for delivering good outcomes to patients with diabetes result in physicians changing the way in which they practice care – from reactive to proactive – and in patients getting better care.
  3. Physicians that are recognized for adopting better systems of care and physicians that deliver better outcomes for patients with diabetes are more cost-efficient (on a severity and case-mix adjusted basis) than physicians that are not recognized.
  4. Performance measures that focus on intermediate outcomes for patients with diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease and cardio-vascular disease, and measures of effective treatment protocols for patients with recent cardiac events hold the highest clinical and actuarial value of most measures of ambulatory care.

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.