America’s Health Insurance Plans is celebrating efforts to use new health care compensation programs to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.

AHIP, Washington, brought many health insurers to the capital Tuesday to draw attention to physician, hospital and collaborative compensation programs.

In the physician program category, for example, AHIP featured the Pathways to Excellence quality-based compensation program at Aetna Inc., Hartford, and the Primary Care Quality Incentive Program at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a unit of WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis.

“Private-sector strategies to improve health care quality and value are an essential component of comprehensive health care reform,” AHIP says.

“Health plans are pioneering the types of innovative approaches necessary to move to a 21st century, evidenced-based health care system,” AHIP President Karen Ignagni says in a statement.

Health insurance industry executives have argued that one risk of letting a new government-run health insurance program crowd out private insurers is that a government plan might have far less freedom to develop and test new ideas, including compensation programs, than private plans now have.

Private plans can show that their compensation programs have persuaded patients and others to comply better with evidence-based treatment guidelines, reduced emergency room visits, and improved patient satisfaction, AHIP says.