The Impact Of Physician Remunerations On Patient Outcomes And Quality Of Care

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The Impact of Physician Remunerations on Patient Outcomes and Quality of Care in Canada A Policy Analysis Paper By Udoka Okpalauwaekwe PUBH 852 BRIEFING SUMMARY It is commonly believed that the method of physician remunerations affects their professional behavior. As a result, payment systems are therefore manipulated in attempts to achieve policy objectives with the primary aim to improve quality of care, contain cost and maintain recruitment of human resources in underserved areas. (2,1) This paper tries to analyze the impact of primary care physician remuneration systems on patient outcomes and quality of care in Canada. A very often cited source of inefficiency in the Canadian system is the overwhelming dependence on the…show more content…
A mixed payment system combined with physician monitoring, will provide physicians with incentives to consider costs and benefits of different treatment options, which will lead to an efficient level and quality of care. (1,2) Looking forward, another interesting option for Canada would be the Group-based profit sharing programs. However their applicability in the short to medium term is unlikely because profit-sharing programs allow hospitals to provide bonuses to physicians based on hospital savings created when physicians coordinate their use of drugs and devices (quantity and market share discounts). That is, the more that a hospital purchases of a particular drug or device from a particular vendor/manufacturer, the more they benefit from quantity and market share discounts. Therefore, adding profit sharing programs to the current FFS system may provide a powerful way to align physician incentives with those of the hospital and of policy-makers. However, little is known about the effect of these programs on patient outcomes, as current regulation in Canada does not allow hospitals to pay physicians in such a manner. (1,2) BACKGROUND Canada’s healthcare cost constitutes a large share of GDP. Although this may be a good thing as it reflects on a country’s increased wealth and ability to pay for valued care, however in the case of Canada, there is a strongly held belief that the growth rate in Canada is not sustainable nor is it necessarily improving our outcomes.
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