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August 29, 2011

Franciscan Physician Executive Named To State Health Care Panel

Tony Haftel, MD, vice president for quality and the associate chief medical officer for the Franciscan Health System, has been appointed to a new state collaborative created specifically to explore strategies for controlling health care costs and improving care quality.

Tony Haftel, MD
Tony Haftel, MD

The Washington State Hospital Association nominated Dr. Haftel for the Robert Bree Collaborative and Gov. Chris Gregoire announced his appointment earlier this month.

"Everyone wants health care in Washington to be as efficient, effective and affordable as possible," Dr. Haftel said. "I look forward to working with other members of the collaborative to identify methods for improving both quality and cost-effectiveness."

The collaborative, which has 20 members, was created earlier this year by the state Legislature. It brings together providers, purchasers and commercial payers to discuss evidence-based strategies for improving health care. Under state law, all state-purchased health care programs must implement guidelines recommended by the Bree consortium after the Washington Health Care Authority has approved them. Commercial payers must also adopt the collaborative's recommendations.

Gov. Gregoire has set a goal of reducing medical inflation to no more than 4 percent annually. The Bree Collaborative will focus on as many as three areas per year for which there is substantial variation or high utilization trends that do not produce better clinical outcomes, according to published reports.

The Bree Collaborative is named in honor of the late Robert Bree, MD, a professor of radiology at the University of Washington who was well known for his innovation and expertise in ultrasound technology. Through the Washington State Healthcare Commission, he was critical in passing the landmark advanced imaging management (AIM) legislation in Washington. The law is designed to ensure appropriate utilization of imaging procedures, and ultimately reduce medical costs.

News Media Contact:

Scott Thompson
P: (253) 382-3858
E: ScottThompson@fhshealth.org