CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) announced today in partnership with the North Carolina State Health Plan (NCSHP) that they have recognized and rewarded 63 physicians statewide, representing 20 practices, for meeting stringent national quality health care standards under the national Bridges to Excellence coalition. The practices received a combined total of more than $500,000. According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) based in Washington, D.C, North Carolina now ranks 3rd in the country for the number of physician recognitions made.
BCBSNC is the first health insurer in North Carolina to implement Bridges to Excellence, which has programs in eighteen 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 delivery of care.”
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 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. On behalf of our members, we are proud to recognize these physicians and practices for meeting national health care standards.”
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:
  • 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.
Practices recognized include:
Unifour Family Practice – Hickory
Burke Primary Care – Morganton
Haywood Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine – Clyde
Mid Carolina Cardiology – Charlotte
Dayspring Family Practice – Eden
Cornerstone Medical Associates – High Point
Wake Forest Cardiology – Winston Salem
Ardmore Family Practice – Winston Salem
Ford, Simpson, Lively and Rice Pediatrics – Winston Salem
Hawthorn OB Gyn Associates – Winston Salem
Family and Community Medicine of Asheboro – Asheboro
Chapel Hill Pediatrics – Chapel Hill
Omni Clinic – Jacksonville
Coastal Children’s Clinic – New Bern
Coastal Carolina Family Practice – Hertford
Wilson Medical Associates – Wilson
Goldsboro Pediatrics – Goldsboro
Horizon Family Practice – Clayton
Sanford Medical Group – Sanford 
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 nearly 3.6 million members, including approximately 825,000 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  
About the North Carolina State Health Plan:
The North Carolina State Health Plan covers more than 642,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, state hospital staff and their dependents. Dependents include spouses and unmarried children under age 19 (or under age 26, if full-time students).  The State Health Plan also administers NC Health Choice, a fee-for-service program that provides health insurance to more than 116,000 uninsured children in North Carolina. Through the healthy living initiative, NC HealthSmart, the State Health Plan empowers members to make healthier lifestyle choices and become partners in addressing their health care needs. The State Health Plan is self-insured and exempt from ERISA as a government-sponsored plan. Visit the State Health Plan online at
About Bridges to Excellence
Bridges to Excellence (BTE) is a non-profit coalition-based 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, and patient-centered care. BTE works with large employers, health plans, providers and a wide range of organizations that have a shared goal of improving quality and patient outcomes. For more information, visit