Aetna Introduces Bridges To Excellence™ in Washington State
Nationally recognized pay-for-performance program will reward physicians for meeting quality targets
SEATTLE,— Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) announced today that it has incorporated Bridges to Excellence™ into its pay-for-performance programs for its contracted family practice and internal medicine physicians in the state of Washington.
The Bridges to Excellence program encourages high-quality health care by providing financial incentives to health care providers who demonstrate safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.
Bridges to Excellence, founded in 2002, is a multi-state, multi-employer coalition developed by employers, physicians, health care services researchers and other industry experts, whose mission is to reward quality across the health care system.
“Aetna believes pay-for-performance programs have recognized potential in improving the quality and cost-efficiency of health care for members,” said Dr. Drew Oliveira, Aetna’s medical director for its Northwest markets. “The Bridges to Excellence program will help identify and reward physicians who deliver consistently high standards of care to their patients.”
Bridges to Excellence is based upon physician recognition programs designed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and its partners, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.
“NCQA recognition resonates with our physicians because it speaks to actual clinical outcomes, such as the control of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol,” said Michael J. Tronolone, M.D., MMM, medical director of The Polyclinic in Seattle. “We are delighted to see that Aetna’s direction in pay for performance is in alignment with both our clinic’s goals around quality and with the direction the Puget Sound Health Alliance has charted in regard to the value of NCQA recognition.”
Aetna has incorporated Bridges to Excellence methodology into its pay-for-performance strategy and programs nationally. Currently, Aetna participates in existing Bridges to Excellence markets in Cincinnati; Atlanta; Louisville, Ky.; Maryland; Washington D.C.; and Northern Virginia.
In the state of Washington, Aetna will employ two pay-for-performance programs operated by Bridges to Excellence: The Diabetes Care Link; and the Cardiac Care Link. Both programs focus on meeting approved high standards for treating chronic conditions. Aetna provides health benefits to approximately 280,000 members in this market. Those members have access to a network of 90 hospitals, almost 4,000 primary care physicians and more than 7,700 specialists.
Recognized internal medicine and family practice physicians will be eligible for incentive payments of $100 per year per diabetic patient, and $100 per year per heart/stroke patient. Those payments are in addition to what physicians receive for professional services provided to those patients.
“Aetna is excited to participate in this program, which supports our continuing work to encourage quality and safety improvements in health care. We encourage all the eligible physicians in our network to join us in this effort,” Oliveira said.
Bridges to Excellence has distributed more than $7.6 million in rewards to more than 3,000 recognized physicians.
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