JAMA Study Finds Some Benefits to Pay-for-Performance

eAlert 41ea13b6-fe0f-4d7c-9817-3c61403b2990

<p>Growing optimism over the promise of "pay for performance" to improve the quality of health care may have been given further impetus following publication of the first study to assess the effects of quality incentives in a large health plan. The <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=19010&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D307183%26%23doc307183">study, </a>conducted with support from The Commonwealth Fund and published today in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association,</em> found that for one of three clinical quality measures studied, a physician network that was offered bonus payments outperformed another network that was not.<br><bR>While quality also improved for the other two measures, the differences between the two networks for these measures were not significant. Most of the bonus money went to physician groups that performed well, rather than those that improved the most.<br><Br>"Pay-for-performance has significant potential to improve the performance of the health care system, where reimbursement has historically failed to reward, and in some case penalized, high quality," said Meredith B. Rosenthal, the study's lead author and a researcher based at the Harvard School of Public Health. "To achieve the critical goals of improving both the affordability and quality of care we will need to look not only to well-designed payment reforms but also to such promising efforts as public reporting of quality and cost information, tiered benefit designs that give consumers incentives to choose higher quality and lower cost providers and treatments, and disease management."</p>