MN physician group calls for P4P standardization

The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) has come out with a new report taking an increasingly popular position--that health plans should standardize quality measures before they continue rolling out pay-for-performance programs. The report, which looked at the state's nine pay-for-performance programs, notes that since different plans set different criteria--such as the age range for required annual mammograms--P4P is tying them up in knots administratively. MMA also notes that some P4P programs don't adjust for age, medical risk or demographic differences between patients.

In the report, MMA urges health plans to adopt not only a single set of quality measures which adjust for risk, but also a streamlined data collection process which makes it easier to comply with measurement efforts. They're also asking plans to provide more incentives for coordinating the care of chronically-ill patients and for investing in health IT. In addition, they're suggesting that P4P plans shouldn't penalize doctors for recommending brand name prescriptions over generics. (Good luck with that one, guys.)

To learn more about the group's analysis:
- read the MMA press release
- read the MMA report (.pdf)
- read this Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article

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