To Excellence Study Shows Participating Physicians Provide Better
Quality Of Care
Bridges to Excellence (BTE) reported findings of a
study that says that BTE-recognized doctors performed better than their
peers on standard measures of quality, and, in some cases,
The study examined a cross-sectional comparison of
performance data for physicians recognized by the Physician Office Link
and Diabetes Care Link programs of BTE and similar but non-recognized
physicians, BTE said.
The study, which was led by Meredith Rosenthal,
PhD, associate professor of Health Economics and Policy, Department of
Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, used a
large dataset in Massachusetts to compare BTE recognized and
non-recognized physicians in the largest study of this kind to-date.
In Massachusetts physicians recognized by BTE have
been rewarded for over five years and the programs rewarded include the
adoption of better systems and the delivery of good results in patient
management, BTE said.
"Payers and physicians continue to wrestle with
the problem of identifying valid, cost-efficient methods of measuring
performance for the purposes of payment and network design," said
Rosenthal. "Our findings provide some insight into the correspondence
among alternative physician performance measures and the potential
value of a retrospective recognition program such as that exemplified
by Bridges to Excellence."
The study shows that findings based on the results
of site surveys and a retrospective review of clinical data suggest
that physicians recognized by BTE appear to rely more on evaluation and
management and less on tests and procedures. Bridges to Excellence
recognitions can therefore be a useful quality measurement tool for
healthcare purchasers to identify high-performing physicians, BTE said
Further research is needed to examine whether
recognition by BTE is associated with patient flow increases or
performance improvement, researchers said.
"We have consistently said that the relationship
between better quality and lower cost exists, but that this
relationship is contingent upon looking at whether or not physicians
are focusing on delivering better outcomes," said François
de Brantes, CEO of Bridges to Excellence and a co-author. "This study
looked at physicians that had transformed their practices using good
systems and were actively managing their patients. Not surprisingly,
inpatient stays were lower across all patients as evaluation and
Address: Bridges to Excellence, 13 Sugar St.,
Newtown, CT 06470; www.bridgestoexcellence.org.