Study:P4P helped asthma care, improved MD pay

A new pilot program run by health plan Anthem Inc. seems to be producing some winning results both for asthma patients and physicians. In 2003, Anthem signed up 44 practices associated with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to participate in a program designed to improve care for the almost 14,000 asthmatic children they treat. As part of the program, Anthem agreed to pay as much as 7 percent higher reimbursement to practices that met key criteria. The criteria followed evidence-based guidelines, and included having the severity of the child's condition getting classified, a written self-management plan provided to family and preventive medication being prescribed as needed. As a result, child asthma patients were admitted to the hospital less often, had fewer emergency department visits and missed less school.

Over the course of the program, which ran from October 2003 through November 2006, the percentage of young asthma patients receiving "perfect" care went through the roof, from 4 percent at the outset of the program to 88 percent by late 2006, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. As a result, 11 of the practices involved in the program got Anthem's largest bonus, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per physician. Another 14 practices got 6 percent bonuses.

To get more background on the study:
- read this Cincinnati Business Courier article

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