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Number of Upper Midwest Clinics Providing Excellence in Treatment Increases Two-Fold

July 16, 2008

Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) and Minnesota Bridges to Excellence today announced that 104 high-performing clinics from 22 medical groups in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and North Dakota – more than double the number of last year – will be recognized for meeting diabetes and cardiovascular treatment goals established by the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence guiding coalition, a multi-stakeholder group designing the first pay-for-performance program of its kind. The Bridges to Excellence effort in Minnesota is sponsored by BHCAG, an employer-based coalition that includes public and private health care purchasers including 3M, Carlson Companies, General Electric, Honeywell, Medtronic, Northwest Service Cooperative, Resource Training & Solutions, State of Minnesota Department of Employee Relations, Target Corporation, U.S. Bank, University of Minnesota, Wells Fargo and through the Minnesota Smart Buy Alliance, the Department of Human Services. Since the program was started, the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence “Champions of Change” have paid bonuses in excess of $750,000.

The Bridges to Excellence program was created by employers in 2002 to encourage significant leaps in the quality of care by rewarding health care providers who deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient and patient-centered care. This year, the top-performing Minnesota physicians in diabetes and cardiovascular care can earn up to $300 for each patient covered by a participating employer. The reward is based on their patients meeting the following clinical measures:

Optimal Diabetes Care clinical measures:

— Hemoglobin (blood sugar) count less than 7 (indicates diabetes is under control)

— LDL cholesterol level less than 100

— Blood pressure is less than 130 over 80

— Patients are not smoking

— Patients over the age of 40 take a daily aspirin

Optimal Coronary Artery Disease Care clinical measures:

— LDL cholesterol level less than 100

— Blood pressure is less than 140 over 90

— Patients are not smoking

— Patients take a daily aspirin

“By meeting Bridges to Excellence standards of care, physicians help patients manage their illness and reduce complications that affect people living with these chronic conditions,” said Charlie Montreuil, BHCAG Chair and vice president of Human Resources for Carlson Companies.

The reward provided to each physician is determined by an annual health care quality analysis conducted by MN Community Measurement, which provides results on the quality of treatment at more than 600 clinics throughout Minnesota.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, while more than 17 million Americans have diabetes. The cost for managing these conditions is more than an estimated $300 billion (b) dollars.

This spring, BHCAG and Minnesota Bridges to Excellence announced the addition of a depression care management pilot to its rewards program. The Depression Management pilot will monitor physician and practice performance and improvements, evaluate the impact of better management of depression on costs of care and understand how the measures could be implemented through electronic medical record systems.

“The financial incentives provided by this program accelerate physician practice changes and ultimately improve care for diabetic and cardiovascular patients,” explained Carolyn Pare, CEO for BHCAG. “Our goal is to convince more providers to strive for the Bridges to Excellence distinction so that consumers will have access to information on high-quality providers throughout Minnesota.”

“The financial incentives provided by this program accelerate physician practice changes and ultimately improve care for diabetic and cardiovascular patients,” explained Carolyn Pare, CEO for BHCAG. “Our goal is convince more providers to strive for the Bridges to Excellence distinction so that consumers will have access to high-quality providers throughout Minnesota.” Medical groups (also listed on www.bhcag.com) with clinics earning the rewards include the following:

Optimal Diabetes Care and Optimal Cardiovascular Care

— AALFA Family Clinic

— Allina Medical Clinic – (Forest Lake Clinic, Litchfield Clinic)

— Camden Physicians Ltd.- (Plymouth Clinic)

— Fairview Health Services – (Bass Lake Clinic, Cedar Ridge Clinic, Chisago Lakes Clinic, Crosstown Clinic, Eagan Clinic, Elk River Clinic, Highland Park Clinic, Hugo Clinic, Jonathan Clinic, Milaca Clinic, North Branch Clinic, Oxboro Clinic, Ridges Clinic, RidgeValley Clinic, Uptown Clinic)

— Family HealthServices Minnesota, P.A.- (Afton Road Clinic, Banning Avenue Clinic, Gorman Clinic, Inver Grove Heights Clinic, Shoreview Clinic, White Bear Lake Clinic, Woodlane Clinic)

— HealthEast Care System – (Midway Clinic, Oakdale Clinic)

— HealthPartners – (Apple Valley Clinic, Como Clinic, Inver Grove Heights Clinic)

— Mankato Clinic – (Mapleton Clinic, North Mankato Clinic, Quello Clinic, Ltd., Eden Prairie Clinic)

Optimal Diabetes Care

— Allina Medical Clinic – (Annandale Clinic, Buffalo Clinic, Cokato Clinic, Coon Rapids Clinic, Elk River Clinic, Farmington Clinic, Isles Clinic, The Doctors Uptown Clinic, West Health Campus Clinic)

— Fairview Health Services – (EdenCenter Clinic, Hiawatha Clinic, Lakes Medical Center, Lakeville Clinic, Lino Lakes Clinic, Mesaba – Mountain Iron Clinic, Northeast Clinic, Red Wing Medical Center)

— Family HealthServices Minnesota, P.A. – (North St. Paul Clinic)

— Family Practice Medical Center (Willmar)

— France Avenue Family Physicians

— HealthEast Care System – (Maplewood Clinic, Innovis Health, Lisbon Clinic)

— MeritCare – (Black Duck Clinic, Island Park Clinic, North Fargo Clinic, Richfield Medical Group)

— St. Cloud Medical Group, P.A. – (South Clinic)

— Western Wisconsin Medical Associates, S.C.

— Ellsworth Medical Clinic

Optimal Cardiovascular Care

— Allina Medical Clinic – (Nicollet Mall Clinic, Shoreview Clinic)

— Camden Physicians Ltd. – (Minneapolis Clinic)

— Fairview Health Services – (Maple Grove Medical Center, Rogers Clinic, Rush City Clinic)

— Family HealthServices Minnesota, P.A.- (Maplewood Clinic, Vadnais Heights Clinic, Woodbury Clinic)

— HealthEast Care System – (Woodbury Clinic)

— HealthPartners – (Arden Hills Clinic, Bloomington Clinic, Maplewood Clinic)

— North Suburban Family Physicians – (Lino Lakes Clinic)

— North Suburban Family Physicians – (Roseville Clinic,West Clinic, White Bear Lake Clinic, Woodbury Clinic)

— Innovis Health – (South University Clinic, Mankato Clinic, Blue Earth Clinic, Wickersham Campus Clinic)

— MeritCare – (Edgeley Clinic)

— Park Nicollet Health Services – (Carlson Parkway Clinic, Eagan Clinic, Hopkins Clinic, Maple Grove Clinic, Minnetonka Clinic, Prairie Center Clinic)

— St. Louis Park Family Medicine

— St. Louis Park Internal Medicine

— Quello Clinic, Ltd., – (Savage Clinic)

— Riverside Family Physicians

— Southdale Internal Medicine, P.A.

— St. Cloud Medical Group, P.A. – (Clearwater Medical Clinic, Cold Spring Medical Clinic)

— St. Paul Heart Clinic – (Downtown Clinic, Lakeview Heart Center)

— University of Minnesota Physicians – (Primary Care Center)

— Western Wisconsin Medical Associates, S.C. – (River Falls Medical Clinic)

— Winona Clinic – (Lewiston Clinic, Winona Clinic)

About BHCAG

The vision of the Buyers Health Care Action Group is that health care consumers get the care they need at the right time, in the right place, at the right price. Our mission is to recreate the health care system to focus on a collective goal of optimal health and total value. We accomplish our mission, and create value for our members, by pursuing strategies that: openly challenge conventional practice and foster innovation; aggressively pursue performance improvement; actively influence the behavior of all stakeholders to achieve alignment in providing and purchasing health care; and proactively engage and connect our members to initiatives that further a goal of optimal health and total value. For more information go to: www.bhcag.com.

About Bridges to Excellence

Bridges to Excellence (BTE) is a non-profit coalition-based organization created to encourage significant leaps in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding health care providers who demonstrate that they can deliver safe, timely, effective, and patient-centered care. BTE works with large employers, health plans, providers and a wide range of organizations that have a shared goal of improving quality and patient outcomes. Bridges to Excellence is currently active in 18 states with more than 80 employers and eight business coalitions recognizing 10,000 physicians throughout the U.S. and paying more than $12 million dollars in incentives. For more information, visit www.bridgestoexcellence.org.




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