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Program Rewards Physicians For Delivering High-Quality Care

MANAGED CARE May 2003. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Program Rewards Physicians For Delivering High-Quality Care

MANAGED CARE May 2003. ©MediMedia USA

Bonuses for delivering high quality care will be the focus of a three-market program spearheaded by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and supported by a coalition of physicians, health plans, large employers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Rewarding physicians for improving the quality of health care they give just makes sense," says CMS Administrator Tom Scully. "We applaud the efforts of all of the parties, public and private, who are responsible for launching this initiative."

The effort — called Bridges to Excellence — which was unveiled April 10, focuses on diabetes care in the Cincinnati and Louisville market, and on physician investment in information systems and care management tools in the Boston area.

"A lot of physicians would like to invest in information systems to help deliver better care, but insurance payments haven't covered those costs," says Thomas Lee, MD, the medical director of Partners Community Health Care in Boston.

In the diabetes program, called Diabetes Care Link, physicians will get annual bonuses for providing quality treatment to their diabetic patients.

The details of the third phase, which will focus on cardiac care, will be announced later this year.

The NCQA says that Bridges to Excellence is unique in terms of the size of incentive payments and the number of physicians involved. Participating doctors could earn $10,000 or more in financial incentives. NCQA spokesman Brian Schilling says that there will be "many hundreds" of doctors participating.

Incentives for patients will also be included. "An optional patient reward program is available to encourage employees and family members to take an active role in managing their condition," the NCQA states.

Francois de Brantes, a General Electric official who coordinates the Bridges to Excellence program, says the effort tackles some long-standing concerns by focusing on something everyone agrees with.

"We need to address some fundamental issues in health care — not least of which is to work toward a common goal of quality care," he says.

Meetings

2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
6th Semi-Annual Diagnostic Coverage and Reimbursement Conference Boston December 4–5, 2014
Customer Analytics & Engagement in Health Insurance Chicago December 4–5, 2014
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Clinical Quality Assurance Conference Alexandria, VA December 4–5, 2014
9th Semi-Annual Medical Device Coverage and Reimbursement Conference San Diego December 5, 2014
8th Annual Medical Device Clinical Trials Conference Chicago December 8–9, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015