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Bridges to Excellence Launches Medical Home Program

Thursday, January 31, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 Today Bridges to Excellence(BTE), the nation's largest effort to reward physicians for delivery of highquality care, announced its support of the medical home approach to providinghealth care by launching the BTE Medical Home Program. The initiative willreward physicians that demonstrate they have adopted really good systems andprocesses of care, and are using those systems to deliver positive results inthe management of their patients -- in particular patients with chronicconditions.

BTE's Medical Home recognition is a natural extension of its currentprograms and will be automatically triggered when doctors achieve a certainlevel of performance in BTE's Physician Office Link Program and at least twoof BTE's condition-specific programs, such as the Diabetes Care Link, CardiacCare Link and Spine Care Link.

Medical home

A medical home provides patients with access to quality health care fromdoctors who practice evidence-based guidelines; use appropriate healthinformation technology; and demonstrate the use of "best practices" whilebeing accountable for the quality and value of care.

The medical home approach was initially developed by the American Academyof Pediatrics and has been fully endorsed by the American Academy of FamilyPhysicians, American College of Physicians and the American OsteopathicAssociation. Members of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, acoalition of major employers, consumer groups, and other stakeholdersincluding BTE, have joined with organizations representing physicians todevelop and advance the patient-centered medical home.

"The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) believes everyone shouldhave a personal medical home -- a family physician who serves as the focalpoint through which they receive acute, chronic and preventive medicalservices," said Jim King, MD, president of the AAFP. "BTE's efforts to supportthe medical home can significantly boost the growing momentum of this patient-centered model of care. The AAFP has long worked to foster ongoingrelationships between family physicians and their patients by empowering itsmembers to provide accessible, accountable, comprehensive, integrated,patient-centered, scientifically valid care to all patients."

David C. Dale, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians(ACP) noted, "The ACP, with our physician colleagues, believes the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) can serve as a framework for improving the U.S.health care delivery system. Practices electing to become a PCMH commit toproviding care that recognizes the true value of partnership between patientsand their personal physicians -- who in turn accept the accountability andresponsibility of improving the quality of care. The Bridges to ExcellenceMedical Home program is designed to support this transformation of health careand ACP welcomes the opportunity to work with BTE as the program evolves."

Rewards and cost savings

Through participation in the BTE Medical Home recognition, doctors canreceive an annual bonus payment of $125 for each patient covered by aparticipating employer, with a suggested maximum yearly incentive of $100,000.

"Our research shows that patients who are well taken care of cost less,"said Francois de Brantes, BTE CEO. "The average potential savings per coveredlife would be approximately $250 a year."

How physicians can participate

Recognized physicians will be awarded a BTE Medical Home distinction inaddition to the other Program recognitions because they have demonstrated thatthey have adopted and are effectively using advanced systems of care toproduce good results for their patients.

Physicians who achieve a Level 2 or Level 3 in BTE's Physician Office Link(POL) Program as well as a Level 2 in two other BTE programs -- Diabetes CareLink, Cardiac Care Link or
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