Paying for Prevention

Associations Between Pay for Performance and Cessation Counseling in Primary Care Practices

While pay for performance (P4P) incentives have traditionally been aimed at rewarding preventive service delivery in primary care practices, this observational study looked at the association of P4P and behavioral patient counseling offered for smoking cessation.

Eighty-nine primary care practices participating in a joint Robert Wood Johnson Foundation–Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality health promotion initiative were analyzed along with the in-depth smoking cessation counseling they provide to their patients.

Key Findings:

  • Primary care practices that were involved in P4P incentives were found to offer the recommended in-depth patient counseling for smoking cessation.
  • Additionally, their high quality treatment for smoking cessation “ … was also associated with more systematic means of linking patients to additional cessation resources in the community.”

Small sample size and the lack of more comprehensive information on the amount of incentive given warrants further study aimed at behavioral counseling for smoking cessation.