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Five New Chronic Assessment Categories Added to Bridges to Excellence

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 29, 2009

Bridges to Excellence, which now recognizes and financially rewards 15,000 selected physicians for providing quality care nationwide, announced it will now be assessing the diagnosis, treatment, and management of new five chronic conditions: asthma, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, and hypertension.

The new programs--combined with an existing focus on diabetes, ischemic vascular disease, back pain, and depression--are expected to cover the majority of conditions accounting for healthcare costs in the system today and the bulk of patients that many providers are seeing in their practices.

The Bridges to Excellence programs have been designed to provide incentives to reward physicians and practices for adopting better systems of care. At the inception of the program, emphasis had been placed on encouraging the adoption of systems of care--such as electronic medical records--along with using those systems in delivering good results in patient management. BTE works with large employers, health plans, providers, and other organizations that have a shared goal to improve quality and patient outcomes.

Now, the emphasis is being placed on results of patient management, specifically with chronic conditions. Physicians who demonstrate excellent performance can earn recognition and also qualify for incentives from participating employers and health plans.

Work at Bridges to Excellence has shown that significant avoidable costs exist with the management of these conditions, says Francois de Brantes, the Bridges to Excellence CEO. "By reducing preventable complications incurred by most patients with these chronic conditions, we could significantly improve the health of employees and save employers billions of dollars."

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