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Research Triangle Area Health Care Collaborative Launches Bridges to Excellence(R) Initiative to Improve Quality and Lower Costs
Date:8/19/2007

Physician Practices Encouraged to Apply for Incentive Program

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning in 2008, physicians in and around the Research Triangle Area (RTA) who provide top-quality care will receive compensation for quality thanks to the RTA Health Care Collaborative, a group of forward-thinking local employers, health plans, physicians, and others. The Collaborative is implementing an initiative known as the Bridges to Excellence (BTE) program -- a nationally-recognized effort developed by employers, physicians, health care services, researchers, and other industry experts -- that provides compensation to physicians for meeting rigorous quality standards for key aspects of care.

RTA Health Care Collaborative members -- Cisco, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Duke Energy, and Belk -- believe that encouraging higher quality care will result in better patient outcomes in a cost-effective manner. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, CIGNA HealthCare, and United Healthcare are also participating in the Collaborative. The North Carolina Medical Society also participated in the development of the program and supports the efforts of the Collaborative.

The Bridges to Excellence program applies nationally-recognized, evidenced-based standards to the physician practice environment. Physicians may achieve recognition in three areas to be eligible for rewards. All areas employ standards established by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA):

-- Diabetes care

-- Heart-stroke care

-- Physician office practices (e.g. electronic records)

North Carolina is among the first major markets to implement these three BTE pay-for-performance programs in three practice areas simultaneously. "With the addition of the metro Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte markets, Bridges to Excellence continues to be the largest national pay-for-performance program and will have a positive impact on millions of Americans in urban
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SOURCE Research Triangle Area Health Care Collaborative

Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.

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