Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield paid a total of $741,200 in bonuses to 37 New York hospitals as part of a three-year patient-safety initiative that ended in December 2004. Hospitals received bonuses for rapidly adopting computerized physician order-entry systems and/or staffing intensive-care units with specialists in critical-care medicine -- both standards pushed by the Leapfrog Group. Hospitals that completed a Leapfrog Group survey and met one or both standards qualified to receive bonuses based on the eligible hospital stays of employees of five participating companies. Only 11 hospitals met at least one of the standards when the program began, Empire officials said. -- by Cinda Becker
Empire Blues awards hospitals in patient-safety program
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