CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) announced today that it has recognized and rewarded more than 135 physicians statewide, representing 29 practices, for meeting stringent national quality health care standards set by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The practices received a combined total of more than $800,000 in quality care rewards through the Bridges to ExcellenceTM program after fulfilling the requirements of this national program.
BCBSNC is the first health insurer in North Carolina to implement Bridges to ExcellenceTM, which has programs in 18 other states. The North Carolina State Health Plan is collaborating in the three-year pilot program and contributed funds to the physician incentive reward pool.
“Bridges to Excellence rewards physicians and physician practices for delivering safer, more effective and more efficient care through incentives and recognition,” said Bob Greczyn, president and CEO of BCBSNC. “This, in turn, will enhance the quality of care received by BCBSNC and State Health Plan members. We think the program will also address affordability by encouraging more cost-effective care delivery.”
Some examples of changes implemented in these North Carolina practices include improving follow-up and tracking of patients, applying electronic prescribing, changing follow-up triage systems and improving overall office efficiencies by using information systematically to improve the quality of patient care.
“Bridges to Excellence underscores the State Health Plan’s commitment to increasing the value received for every dollar spent on health care,” said George C. Stokes, executive administrator of the State Health Plan. “We are very pleased to collaborate with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Bridges to Excellence with the goal of enhancing the quality of care received by members of the State Health Plan.”
“Doctors who deliver the best care deserve to be rewarded for improving health outcomes,” said Kathleen C. Mudd, RN, MBA, NCQA vice president for product delivery. “Rewarding the right care is common sense—and it leads to happier, healthier patients. BCBSNC and the North Carolina State Health Plan are to be commended for their leadership in adopting this program.”
Physicians achieved recognition in three distinct programs to be eligible for rewards and recognition. All three areas are based on standards established by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA):
- Diabetes care
- Heart and stroke care
- Physician office management, including clinical information systems, patient education and support, and care management
BCBSNC launched the Bridges to Excellence program in 2006 as a three-year pilot program to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in improving care and reducing costs. Physicians may apply for additional recognition twice yearly and are eligible for an annual payment for each recognition.
Bridges to Excellence Pilot - April 2007 Rewards
North Wake Cardiov.Ctr.
Coastal Children's Clinic
MAHEC Family Hlth.Ctr. (Mountian Area Family Health)
Cornerstone Medical Assoc.
Unifour Family Practice
Wilson Medical Associates
Duke Gen.Int.Med./Pickett Rd
Dayspring Family Medicine
Western Wake Peds
Raleigh Medical Group - Key
Haywood Pediatric & Adolescent Med.
Randy Long MD, PA
Mid Carolina Card, PA
Boylan Medical Associates
Medical Associates of Surry
Sanford Medical Group
Family and Community Medicine of Asheboro
Asheville Family Health Centers, PA
The Sanger Clinic
Henderson Family Medicine
Wilkes Family Health Center
CaroMount Specialty Group dba Carolina Heart Specialist
Pinehurst Medical Clinic
Catawba Women's Ctr
Cabarrus Family Medicine
Ajay Kumar, MD
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.5 million members, including approximately 820,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 74 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
About the North Carolina State Health Plan:
The North Carolina State Health Plan covers approximately 624,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, state hospital staff and their dependents. The State Health Plan also administers NC Health Choice, a fee-for-service program that provides health insurance to more than 100,000 uninsured children in North Carolina. The State Health Plan is self-insured and exempt from ERISA as a government-sponsored plan. Access the State Health Plan online at shpnc.org.
About Bridges to Excellence:
The Bridges to Excellence coalition is a not-for-profit organization created to encourage significant leaps in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding health care providers who demonstrate that they deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient and patient-centered care. Bridges to Excellence participants include large employers, health plans, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Medstat, and WebMD Health, among others. The organizations are united in their shared goal of improving health care quality through measurement, reporting, rewards and education. bridgestoexcellence.org.