Employer-sponsored program bonusing IT-powered doctors

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Bridges to Excellence (BTE), an employer-sponsored effort to reward physicians for delivering high-quality care, this week announced a new physician bonus program, Physician Office Link (POL).

POL offers doctors an annual bonus payment of $50 per qualified patient for investments in information technology help manage and improve patient care within their practices. The organization says that systems and activities that might help a physician qualify for an annual reward include: simple patient registries, patient education programs, care management systems and electronic medical records.

The initiative complements BTE's existing two programs - Cardiac Care Link (CCL) and Diabetes Care Link (DCL). Launched in 2003, BTE has rewarded participating physicians in Boston, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky. This month BTE says it delivered a round of checks to physicians in Boston, the largest totaling nearly $40,000.

The fourth region joining the BTE program includes Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. The N.Y. capital region is the first region to have all three BTE programs - POL, DCL and for the first time, CCL. A number of physician groups have already expressed interest in seeking POL recognition, says BTE, including Community Care Physicians, CapitalCare Medical Group and Prime Care Physicians.

In addition to the bonus payments, recognized physicians in all three of the BTE programs will be highlighted in physician directories and within participating companies.

For further information on BTE, or to find out how to participate as an employer or a physician, visit the organization's Web site at www.bridgestoexcellence.org.