Financial Incentives For Improving Quality Of Care

832 Words4 Pages
In the early 2000s, serious deficiencies in quality health care had been highlighted by the Institute of Medicine (James, 2012). Recently, the use of financial incentives to reward for improving quality of care is a growing interest for many. Pay-for-performance programs provide bonuses to health care providers for meeting or exceeding quality measures. However, physicians in the United States have traditionally been paid for quantity versus quality of care (Blum, 2011). Utilizing incentive models, such as patient-centered medical home, pay-for-performance, and the fee-for-service payments are the most commonly used programs. Incentive programs may also reward on improvements that occur over time, such as year-to-year decreases in hospital readmission rates or decreasing hemoglobin A1c values in diabetic patients (Blum, 2011). Hospital can incur financial penalties under the Medicare guidelines for individuals who acquire certain preventable conditions during their hospital stay, such as urinary tract infections from use of catheters and pressure ulcers. However, there is insufficient evidence to support whether or not financial incentives improve quality of primary health care. In addition, it is unclear whether financial incentives could potentially cause harm as they only incentivize based on certain health indicators. Therefore, physicians may spend more time focusing on meeting those indicators while paying less attention to other important issues
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