Study: P4P definitions, incentives still 'incomplete'

Pay-for-performance schemes may sound like a good way to improve quality, but to date, the industry hasn't set any consistent quality standards--or provided enough money in incentives to motivate physicians to get on board. That's the conclusion of a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute study after interviews with top executives from 10 of the largest health plans in the U.S.

Before P4P can succeed industry-wide, the healthcare industry needs to agree on a shared set of quality measures. What's more, the industry needs to make sure that hospitals and physicians are working toward the same quality goals. Yet another imperative is to make sure that physicians get equal payments for success with all patients, whether the patient has health insurance or not.

The statistics on quality measurement are particularly sobering. Right now, the 10 plans PwC surveyed use almost 60 physician performance indicators, and not a single measure was used by all 10 of the health plans. What's more, no two plans reported rewarding providers for performance the same way.

To get more data from the study:
- read this PwC press release

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