Montefiore News Releases
New York City, NY (October 5, 2007) – Thousands of heart patients in the Greater New York region will receive top quality, comprehensive cardiac care in an innovative cardiovascular program in which physicians at a major academic medical center will receive incentive payments based on 60 performance measures for outpatient and inpatient care.
The program is one of many pioneering initiatives at Montefiore Medical Center’s nationally recognized Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center and will challenge physicians to score well on a mix of measurable activities that indicate quality care for patients, such as: is the patient enrolled in a smoking cessation program; has beta blocker therapy been persistent; is blood pressure under control; and, was the patient generally satisfied with his care? The program is for heart patients and for patients with risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking and obesity.
Montefiore is the only hospital in New York State to initiate such a pay-for-performance program, which is being funded by a $2.4 million grant from the New York State Health Department.
“Cardiovascular care has advanced considerably over the past decades through prevention programs, clinical drug trials and advancements in surgery such as robotics,” said Steven M. Safyer, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Montefiore. “This state grant supports Montefiore’s continuing focus on innovations in cardiovascular treatment by adding a new approach. It gives us the opportunity to look at the physician side of the equation and to implement a model pay-for-performance cardiac care program.”
Here’s how the pay-for-performance project will work in an outpatient setting for one group of patients -- those who are at-risk for heart disease. If a physician in one of Montefiore’s ambulatory care centers meets certain clinical performance standards for her patients (such as controlling high blood pressure, checking weight, providing nutrition counseling, checking smoking status, and giving a flu vaccine), she could earn an income bonus. The higher her score is on the list of performance standards that are recorded electronically, the larger the bonus -- up to a certain maximum. The same type of financial incentives, with different performance criteria, would apply to treating patients with existing heart disease or diabetes.
“This approach aligns the incentives for patient, physician and hospital in order to promote best practices and optimal outcomes,” said Safyer.
Montefiore will use its unique clinical information system to quantify performance.
“This project breaks new ground,” said Rohit Bhalla, MD, Chief Quality Officer at Montefiore. “Most pay-for-performance experiments are conducted by insurers, not providers. Providers generally do not have an incentive to reduce utilization.”
Unique aspects of the Montefiore pay-for-performance grant:
# # #