Healthfirst Honors Top-Quality Providers

2015 Healthfirst Quality Incentive Program Yields Improved Outcomes for Members.

NEW YORK, NY – Healthfirst hosted a special celebration at its 100 Church Street (Manhattan) headquarters on November 9 for top-performing providers who were part of the health plan’s 2015 Healthfirst Quality Incentive Program (HQIP). This annual recognition ceremony shines a light on the community physicians and health facilities whose hard work and commitment to their patients help ensure that Healthfirst members have access to high-quality care.

Susan Beane, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Partnerships, presided over the ceremony and called award honorees to the front of the room to accept their plaques. Representatives from each top-performing hospital and independent practice were then recognized for their accomplishments and given an opportunity to address the crowd of fellow practitioners, hospital administrators, and Healthfirst staff.

“Our achievements in the area of quality are a testament to the deep partnerships we have with our providers,” said Dr. Beane. “These achievements also represent our investment in processes and best practices that drive evidence-based medicine for our members.”

Since 2010, Healthfirst has used HQIP to focus attention on the areas that will improve health outcomes for Healthfirst members. By achieving or surpassing the clinical performance goals set in the HQIP, provider groups can earn quality incentive payments. Provider organizations that provide exceptional care can take pride in their status as top performers in the network and work harder each year to meet or exceed the targets Healthfirst sets for high-quality care.

This is one of many reasons why, for the third year in a row, Healthfirst has received a four-star quality rating (out of five) for its Medicare Advantage plan from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), distinguishing it as one of the highest rated Medicare Advantage HMO plans in New York State. The health plan is also a five-star-rated Medicaid plan (out of five stars) for the third year in a row.

“To be in the trenches is not easy, but getting the support of Healthfirst allows us to put our patients first,” said Sixto Caro, MD, a Brooklyn-based internal medicine physician. “The incentive program encourages us to give the best medical care to our patients.”

“We have to show patients that we care for them and for the community, and I think that’s the same message Healthfirst is sending,” said Perry Pong, MD, Chief Medical Officer at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with locations in Chinatown, Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. “Our team worked really hard, and I appreciate the partnership we share with Healthfirst because it’s really a team effort.”

“This is an amazing partnership we have with Healthfirst, and it’s so unique to be aligned with an insurance company so that we can do the right thing for our patients,” said Patricia Belair, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

Providers who were recognized include:


• Coney Island Hospital
• Flushing Hospital Medical Center
• Harlem Hospital Center
• Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
• Mount Sinai Beth Israel
• Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt
• SBH Health System
• Woodhull Medical Center

Federally Qualified Health Centers

• Betances Health Center
• Charles B. Wang Health Center
• Community Healthcare Network
• Urban Health Plan

Community-Based Providers

• Anil Gupta, MD and Sindhu Gupta, MD
• Fei Wang, MD
• Kevin Charlotten, MD
• Prashanth Mannam, MD

Independent Practice Associations (IPAs)

• Dustin Nguyen, MD (CAIPA)
• Haifan Chen, DO (CAIPA)
• Rex Wu, MD (CAIPA)
• Christian Belliard-Estevez, MD (Corinthian)
• Francisco Martinez, MD (Corinthian)
• Rajesh Patel, MD (Corinthian)
• Nancy Wallach, MD (Excelsior)
• Sixto Caro, MD (Excelsior)
• SOP Medical, PC (Excelsior)

Additional Comments from Award Recipients

“What makes me most proud is that the award really represents the successful engagement between healer and patient,” said Santos Rivera, MD, the chief executive officer of two-time awardee Betances Health Center (Lower East Side of Manhattan). “You can’t provide quality care unless that relationship is solid.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Healthfirst and are extraordinarily proud of our partnership,” said Bruce Flanz, president and CEO of MediSys Health Network, the sponsor of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, both of which were recognized at this ceremony for the second time in two years. “We hope to be able to continue providing quality care and earn a ‘three-peat’ next year.”

“This program is all about partnership and bringing together members of the care team to ensure patients have the highest quality of care possible,” said Christine Einloth of Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan. “None of this would be possible without having Healthfirst as a partner. We really appreciate everything that you do for us.”

“As primary care physicians, we know we have to focus on preventive care and community service, so we need lots of support from a health plan,” said Haifan Chen, DO, a family practitioner in Flushing, Queens. “I thank Healthfirst for what they have done for us.”

About Healthfirst

Healthfirst is a not-for-profit health insurance company sponsored by some of the most prestigious hospitals and healthcare systems in New York. It serves almost 1.2 million members in New York City and in Long Island through government-sponsored programs including Child Health Plus, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Managed Long Term Care (Senior Health Partners), as well as through private health plans including Healthfirst Leaf and Qualified Health Plans, offered on NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace. It now offers The Essential Plan, lower-cost health plan options for qualifying individuals. For the second year in a row, Healthfirst is a 4-Star Medicare Advantage plan and has 5 Stars for quality on the NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace.

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