HCI3 and New York City Health Department Partner to Launch Physician Recognition Program to Improve Care Quality and Reduce Avoidable Health Complications

Oct 13, 2010, 09:11 ET from Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3)

Key goal is to cut preventable hospitalizations by 17%, saving millions in medical expenses

NEW YORK, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute™, Inc.'s (HCI3™) Bridges to Excellence (BTE) and the New York City Health Department's Primary Care Information Project have partnered to develop a new program to identify and recognize physicians who deliver high-value primary care to adult patients in New York City. The Adult Primary Care Recognition Program will help clinicians identify patients who need chronic care management and preventive services like cholesterol management and blood pressure control, and encourage the doctors to take an active approach to treatment.

The impact could be substantial given the estimated 25% of New York City residents who suffer from hypertension, with less than half having their blood pressure under adequate control. By keeping people well, a key goal of this new program is to cut preventable hospitalization by 17%, which would reduce overall medical expenses in New York City significantly.

"There are substantial avoidable costs associated with the management of chronic conditions," said Laurel Pickering, executive director of the New York Business Group on Health, a coalition of employer purchasers. "By reducing preventable complications incurred by most patients, we could considerably improve the health of employees and at the same time save employers billions of dollars."

The aim of the Adult Primary Care Recognition Program is to recognize and reward clinicians who are delivering high-value primary care and reduce gaps and disparities in care; while reducing complications that may lead to premature death.

All physicians in New York City have an opportunity to participate in the effort electronically through the NYC Health Department's Take Care New York measures database. Doctors/clinicians who demonstrate high performance can earn recognition and may also qualify for incentives from participating employers and health plans. Twenty-seven physicians have currently earned the distinction. Several national and regional plans use or plan to use the BTE programs as part of their pay-for-performance initiatives, including Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

"By reducing the reporting burden and focusing on appropriate measures, physicians can focus on providing high quality patient care," said Mary Donnelly, RN, BSN, MPA, quality manager, New York Chapter, American College of Physicians.

The BTE Adult Primary Care Recognition Program leveraged the efforts of the NYC Health Department's Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) and their work with eClinicalWorks, an ambulatory clinical systems firm, to significantly reduce the reporting burden on practices. More than 2,600 physicians currently participate in PCIP. This work will expand to include more EHR (electronic health record) systems now that PCIP has been designated a Regional Extension Center for Health IT, with a goal to assist local physicians at every stage of EHR adoption and use.

"Incentive programs are beneficial in helping practitioners to increase clinical quality performance," said Noam Meyerovich, MD, an internist that is a program participant and a BTE Recognized physician. "An incentive program also helps doctors to organize office workflow and reminds and helps doctors to focus more on preventive medicine, which really improves patients care."

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is home of the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), the nation's largest community-based electronic health record network, and NYC REACH, the federally designated Regional Extension Center for Health IT. PCIP and NYC REACH seek to improve population health in disadvantaged communities through the use of health information technology. www.nyc.gov/pcip

Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute™, Inc.

The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute™, Inc. (HCI3™) is a not-for-profit multi-stakeholder organization resulting from the merger of Bridges to Excellence, Inc. and PROMETHEUS Payment, Inc. The mission of the organization is to create significant improvements in the quality and affordability of health care by developing and implementing programs that recognize and reward physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care. Through its PROMETHEUS Payment® model and Bridges to Excellence® Recognitions, HCI3 offers a comprehensive package of solutions to employers, health plans and coalitions to improve the flawed incentives that currently permeate the U.S. health care system. www.HCI3.org

SOURCE Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3)