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RF clinic earns quality award

The River Falls Medical Clinic was recognized by the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) for meeting cardiovascular care treatment goals established by the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (BTE) guiding coalition, a multi-stakeholder group designing the first pay-for-performance program of its kind.

RFMC has always been committed to measurably improving the quality of the care to patients, according to the clinic's Dr. Christopher Tashjian, who added: "We are pleased to have won Bridges to Excellence awards every year since the program's inception."

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.

The BTE 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.

BTE is a non-profit coalition-based organization created to encourage better 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.

"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 rewards provided to each physician group are 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.

"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 high-quality providers throughout Minnesota."

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