Providers Who Participate in Our Recognition Program—Bridges to Excellence—Have Lower Costs and Better Outcomes

Media Contact

Sarah Litton
Communications and Public Affairs
(202) 772-5062
Press@altarum.org

October 23, 2019

Many health care consultancies claim their solutions improve clinical quality and lower costs, but how do we know they are effective? At Altarum, measurement and evaluation have been part of our DNA for decades, which is why we assessed our Bridges to Excellence provider recognition program to evaluate its impact on costs and outcomes.

What we found was notable: providers participating in Bridges to Excellence had lower average total episode costs and lower probability of experiencing a potentially avoidable complication for three costly and prevalent chronic conditions.

To evaluate the impact of our program, we analyzed Colorado claims data representing over 30,000 patient episodes of diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. We calculated metrics of cost and quality using our proprietary claims analysis tool, PROMETHEUS Analytics.

Providers recognized by Bridges to Excellence for superior care in each of those conditions managed the costs of their patients’ episodes better than their peers by a notable amount:

  • 24.2 percent lower for hypertension care
  • 15.8 percent lower for diabetes care
  • 10.9 percent lower for coronary artery disease care

In addition, fewer patients of providers participating in our program experienced potentially avoidable complications. The probability of experiencing a potentially avoidable complication was 5.2 percent lower among hypertension patients and 4.7 percent lower among diabetes patients.

About Bridges to Excellence

Bridges to Excellence is a national program by Altarum that improves quality of clinical care and lowers cost through provider measurement and recognition programs for the treatment of nine common chronic and other medical conditions:

AsthmaCardiac
COPDDepression
DiabetesHeart Failure
HypertensionIBD
Maternity 


Over 40,000 physicians have been recognized through our program and nine health plan or insurers participate, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and United Healthcare. To learn more about the program, contact Greg Matthews, deputy director of Value in Health Care. 

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Altarum is a nonprofit organization that creates and implements solutions to advance health among vulnerable and publicly insured populations.