A coalition of large employers, health plans, physicians and other healthcare interests announced a program of physician incentive payments for performance. The first efforts will encourage improvement in three areas: diabetes care, cardiovascular care and patient-care management. Top-performing doctors could see income gains of up to 10% in the form of bonuses paid by participating employers, which include Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co., United Parcel Service, Procter & Gamble and Verizon Communications. The three initiatives are being introduced in metropolitan areas heavily populated by employees of the supporting companies. The diabetes-care program, to be launched in Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., will provide annual bonus payments to physicians who demonstrate good control of patients' diabetes. A care management program to be piloted in Boston will reward physicians for investing in information systems to improve care. The cardiac program will be introduced later in the year. The overall initiative, called Bridges to Excellence, is supported by a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. -- by John Morrissey
Group to try pay-for-performance to boost quality
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