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First Rewards Paid to New Jersey Doctors Through Participation in Bridges to Excellence
Date:3/12/2009

Incentives paid by employers and health plans to physicians meeting quality standards for diabetes care

TRENTON, N.J., March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Through Bridges to Excellence (BTE), the nation's most extensive effort to recognize and reward high-performing physicians, improve patient health and reduce costs of care, the first rewards are being paid in New Jersey to BTE-recognized doctors. The program was first launched in the Garden State in 2008 by a core group of employers, health plans and physicians working together to address specific goals and standards for quality care for diabetes. Almost 50 physicians will receive the initial incentives.

"The Bridges to Excellence program makes quality a key component in the value equation of health care reform," said Cliff Feldman, executive director, Health and Wellness Benefits for Verizon. "Rewarding doctors who provide higher-quality, evidence-based care, helps drive better results and ultimately lowers health care costs."

Employers instrumental in bringing Bridges to Excellence to New Jersey include Verizon (a founding member of BTE), AstraZeneca, AtlantiCare, Novo Nordisk, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and Trump Entertainment Resorts. Aetna has shown its commitment to the success of the program by working with employers to include more New Jersey members in the program, including fully insured members, which has resulted in more opportunity for incentives for participating physicians. Other participating health plans are CIGNA, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and UnitedHealthcare, with Aetna, CIGNA and UnitedHealthcare paying initial rewards to physicians.

"Improving the quality and cost of health care requires collaboration and commitment from all stakeholders," said Michael Hudson, president, Northeast Region, Health Care Management for Aetna. "Aetna is proud to be a part of BTE and to work with physicians and
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SOURCE Bridges to Excellence
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