Will the Latest Payment Trend Improve Care?

The current article reviewed aspects of pay-for-performance programs that play growing roles in health care maintenance organizations. Five components of pay-for-performance programs were described in relation to their potential impact on health care quality.

Key Findings:

  • A combination of incentives for both individual health care providers and medical organizations addresses a range of performance goals and maintains flexibility when goals change.
  • The monetary amount of rewards for meeting performance goals should be proportionate to the cost of implementing quality improvements.
  • Providers should have an integral role in choosing areas where quality improvement is needed. Performance measures should be accessible, consistent, and balanced between validity and cost effectiveness in terms of data collection.
  • Rewards should be given out based on absolute and not relative performance.
  • Pay-for-performance programs could play a role in reducing health care disparities by increasing rewards for care provided to disadvantaged communities.