Study: Safety net hospitals improve care in P4P demo project

While electronic medical records made the job easier, even safety net hospitals with less information technology tools in place managed to improve patient care through pay for performance incentives, according to the results of a P4P demonstration project run by the Premier Healthcare Alliance.

The Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID), which was designed to see whether certain types of hospitals performed differently in a P4P program, included 250 hospitals of varied types.

At first, hospitals in systems serving a disproportionate share of indigent patients performed below others. Still, after three years, the differences lessened, particularly in heart attack, heart failure and hip/knee replacement performance.

Participants in the program said it worked, in part, because clinicians saw their goal as staying in the top tier of the group rather than simply doing a good job. "The program creates a dynamic where the work is never done--quality goals keep getting more aggressive because as a group, HQID hospitals are improving rapidly over time," Jack Garon, MD, chief medical officer at the Sinai Health System, told Healthcare IT News.

These results are particularly important given that the HQID project is the basis for CMS's proposal to Congress for a national value-based purchasing program. Looks like P4P just got a boost!

To learn more about the HQID:
- read this Healthcare IT News piece

Related Article:
CMS P4P research finds consistency to be key