SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

March 16, 2006 11:30 ET

National Business Group on Health Honors HealthPartners With 2006 Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2006 --The National Business Group on Health today awarded HealthPartners its prestigious 2006 Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing. HealthPartners, the largest consumer governed non-profit health care organization in the nation, was recognized for its innovative programs that measure and reward quality health care.

Each year, the Business Group recognizes and honors organizations or individuals that have demonstrated improved health outcomes and more efficient use of health care resources, encouraging excellent practices, and have a documented track record of increasing value in health care through superior purchasing practices or developed approaches, methodologies, and tools that enable outstanding health management practices.

"A champion for quality improvement, HealthPartners' innovative measurement tools provide reliable and actionable performance information that enables delivery of better health for its members and better cost containment for employers," said Martin Sepulveda, MD, Vice President of Global Well Being Services at IBM and Chairman of the Board's Award Committee.

HealthPartners developed its composite outcome metrics to enable providers to focus on the total care of the patient rather than individual components of care. Their contention was that the resulting emphasis on reliable delivery of all important components would create powerful leverage for promoting systematic care improvement. HealthPartners composite metrics track important clinical outcomes developed in collaboration with community providers to help identify the essential components of care for targeted conditions. Once baseline metrics are established, HealthPartners incentive programs are introduced to tie composite metric improvement goals to performance. Its Outcomes Recognition program rewards primary care clinics that achieve superior results in effectively promoting health and preventing disease. Its Pay for Performance program links provider reimbursement and measurement of quality and efficiency to improved care and outcomes for its members.

"HealthPartners' groundbreaking work in composite measurement and quality innovation is rapidly being adopted across the country," said Helen Darling, President of the Business Group. "Their quality innovation programs are transforming health care for providers, employers and members. The Business Group is proud to honor HealthPartners for their leadership and pioneering work."

About the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing

The Business Group annually awards individuals, organizations, or programs that encourage the efficient use of health care resources in addition to improving quality and affordability; encourage excellent practices that are started by or involve large employers, or have a proven track record of increasing value in health care through superior purchasing practices or have developed approaches, methodologies and tools that enable outstanding health benefit management practices.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health, representing 242 mostly large employers, is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to large employers' most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the Business Group, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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