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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Achieves Bridges to Excellence Certification
Date:5/7/2008

Physician recognition and incentive program continues momentum in North

Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bridges to Excellence(TM) (BTE), the nation's largest effort to reward physicians for delivering high-quality care, announced today that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has received BTE Certification. BCBSNC and the North Carolina State Health Plan are collaborating in a three-year pilot program which started in 2006.

To receive the BTE Certification, BCBSNC has demonstrated a strong commitment to implementing the BTE programs as an administratively simple and efficient solution for employers. The BTE Certification and BTE Incentive and Reward Program Endorsement designations were launched in late 2007 and are meant to help employers, physicians and consumers better understand how a health plan is implementing the Bridges to Excellence programs.

By participating in Bridges to Excellence, doctors can receive recognition and financial rewards for meeting quality standards. BCBSNC is the first health insurer in North Carolina to implement BTE. Bridges to Excellence has programs in 18 other states.

"We are very pleased to receive this certification in recognition of our leadership with Bridges to Excellence in North Carolina," said Eugenie Komives, MD, BCBSNC vice president and senior medical director. "Recognition by BTE nationally underscores our strong commitment to North Carolina physicians delivering quality care."

The program has recognized and rewarded more than 205 physicians statewide, representing 39 practices, for meeting stringent national quality health care standards set by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The practices have received a combined total of more than $2.4 million in quality care rewards through BTE after fulfilling the requirements of this national program.

"Our research shows that patients who are well taken care of cost less as a disciplined, efficient medical practice delivers better care and value to its patients," said Francois de Brantes, CEO for Bridges to Excellence.

Physicians may achieve recognition in three distinct programs to be eligible for rewards and recognition: diabetes care; heart and stroke care; and physician office management, including clinical information systems, patient education and support, and care management.

About BCBSNC

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 75 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 http://www.bcbsnc.com.

About the North Carolina State Health Plan

The State Health Plan covers more than 648,000 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 122,000 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 http://www.shpnc.org.

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 http://www.bridgestoexcellence.org.


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SOURCE Bridges to Excellence
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