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First Health Plans Receive Bridges to Excellence Endorsement and Certification

Aetna, CareFirst and CIGNA receive designations

WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Bridges to Excellence (BTE), the nation's largest effort to reward physicians for delivering high-quality care, announced the first health plans to receive the BTE Incentive and Reward Program Endorsement and the BTE Certification. Aetna and CIGNA received the BTE Certification for multiple sites across the country. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield achieved the BTE Incentive and Reward Program Endorsement, the first plan to receive this designation. The 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.

"These initiatives help health plans to more effectively implement Bridges to Excellence programs and make it easier for plans to recognize and reward doctors who demonstrate they have made significant improvements in the management of patients and deliver quality care," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Aetna Inc. and a BTE board member.

Health plans that have received the BTE Certification have demonstrated a very strong commitment to implementing the BTE programs as an administratively simple and efficient solution for employers. The BTE Incentive and Reward Program Endorsement is intended for plans developing their own network-wide incentive and reward program. The designation is achieved after a rigorous review of the health plan's program and its adherence to a set of core principles that are foundational to BTE's mission.

"We are pleased to receive the BTE Certification, as it underscores CIGNA's commitment to quality and our efforts to improve the health and well-being of our members," said Jeff Kang, M.D., CIGNA's chief medical officer.

To apply for either of these programs, health plans must already be licensed by BTE, and actively implementing the programs in one or more sites. More than 15 health plans nationally have licensed BTE and are incorporating the BTE principles into their own pay-for-performance programs, allowing purchasers to participate in a boundary-less fashion.

"Employers need to ask for these recognitions as part of their health plan sourcing," said Charles Montreuil, vice president of corporate human resources at Carlson and BTE President and Board Chair. "These designations will be part of the critical information we use when selecting a health plan."

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

SOURCE Bridges to Excellence
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