CNY Family Care & Cayuga Health Partners Receive Excellus BCBS Circle of Excellence Awards

Posted on February 8, 2024

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently honored two Central New York health care providers with its first-ever Circle of Excellence awards, recognizing CNY Family Care, LLP, and Cayuga Health Partners ACO for their high-quality and innovative health care delivery and patient care.

CNY Family Care received the Health Plan’s first-ever Circle of Excellence Innovation Award, recognizing the health care organization for its meaningful impact in the quality of patients’ lives through clinical leadership and vision to promote continuous improvement in the health care system.

Cayuga Health Partners received the first ever Circle of Excellence Health Equity Award, for its significant impact on the lives of underserved populations through health care and social services interventions and through outstanding examples of the Excellus BCBS mission to promote health equity among all patients.

CNY Family Care, a family-oriented medical practice located in East Syracuse, NY, was recognized for its efforts to enhance quality, efficiency and patient experience, including process improvements to their CNY Family Care Retina Vue Program (eye exam program for patients with diabetes). After seeing low patient compliance in the program, the practice developed an innovative solution, bringing together multiple departments and introducing a new integrated workflow, resulting in significant increases in the number of diabetic patients receiving eye exams.

“This award is testament to the fact that providers, physicians, and clinicians can form meaningful, lasting partnerships with health plans, that we can come together to provide the highest level of care for our patients and continue to maintain the quality we’ve delivered over the past 25 years,” says Fred Letourneau, chief executive officer of CNY Family Care.

Ithaca-based Cayuga Health Partners, a clinically integrated network of primary care physicians and specialty physicians working in conjunction with Cayuga Health System, was recognized for its creation of a closed loop referral process that, in partnership with Human Services Coalition community health advocates, integrates social needs screening, connects patients directly to local resources in the community, and provides direct feedback back to providers. By addressing unmet social needs, CHP is taking steps to address major barriers to health and wellbeing for vulnerable populations in the community.

“Cayuga Health Partners is leading the region with its commitment to health equity and developing health equity capabilities. We are honored to have Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recognize us in their first Circle of Excellence,” says Rob Lawlis, CEO for Cayuga Health Partners.  “We value our relationship with Excellus and look forward to continuing to collaborate on community health and healthcare delivery initiatives.”

The Circle of Excellence award is not a financial incentive award, but rather a peer-nominated award initiative intended to showcase visionary, quality, and health equity thought leaders in the Excellus BCBS provider network who have made significant impacts on the health care delivery and lives of the health plan’s members.

“We developed the Circle of Excellence awards to recognize those who work in partnership with us to look at different ways to deliver high-quality care, and we’re very happy to recognize CNY Family Care and Cayuga Health Partners for their impactful, innovative work,” says Tony Vitagliano, VP provider network, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Each Circle of Excellence Innovation award must meet the following criteria:

  • Must work in the clinical field
  • Does not need to have a medical credential to be nominated
  • Must have fulfilled one of the following criteria:
    • Contributed to significant process improvement in the health care system; or
    • Dedicated 10+ years to exemplary work in the industry
  • Must be able to demonstrate positive outcomes

During recent ceremonies held at each practice, Excellus BCBS representatives presented a recognition plaque and award certificates to members of each organization's executive leadership and health care quality teams.

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