Pay for no extra performance?

Pay-for-performance is obviously a very popular model at this point, but what about when there are extra payments for no extra performance? University and community hospitals are protesting to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick about the larger payments that some specialty hospitals are receiving, arguing that they deliver no apparent extra quality.

The worries come in the wake of a newspaper report on Sunday that examined private insurance payments, which concluded that favored institutions regularly received payments 15 to 60 percent higher than those given to other local institutions. These higher rates have probably played a large part in the rapid rise in insurance rates that residents have to pay, analysts say.

Worse still, the higher payments generally go to hospitals with higher income patients--not the ones with lower income patients that most likely need the extra money to counter-balance the large number of patients receiving uncompensated care.

To learn more about the disparate insurance payments:
- read this Boston Globe piece