Employer Group Launching Depression Treatment Plan

By Staff Report

May. 29, 2008

Employer coalition Bridges to Excellence is launching a pay-for-performance program that will reward physicians for optimal treatment of depression.

The Depression Management Care Link will be piloted in Minnesota among members of the Buyers Health Care Action Group, a statewide employer coalition. BHCAG was also an early adopter of BTE’s diabetes and cardiovascular care programs.

Under BTE’s depression care program, patients will be required to complete a questionnaire to determine whether they are depressed. A reassessment will be conducted after six months, and periodically after that. The goal is full recovery in 12 months.

Scoring and assessment of doctor performance will be conducted by MN Community Measurement, a BTE performance assessment organization. High-performing doctors will receive bonus payments for each patient beginning in 2009.

High-performing doctors will receive $100 per patient per year from participating employers, with payments beginning in 2009. Health plans will begin contributing in 2010, and those amounts will be determined later.

Initial funding for the depression care program will come from a group of 11 employers called Champions of Change. This collective is composed of 3M, Carlson Cos., General Electric, Honeywell International, Medtronic, Resource Training & Solutions, the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Target, the University of Minnesota and Wells Fargo Bank.

Participating health plans have committed to contributing to the pilot in 2010.

BTE is a nonprofit coalition of employers that emphasizes pay for performance.

Filed by Joanne Wojcik of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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