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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 23, 2009
Research Show That Physician P4P Programs Work With Appropriate Incentives: BTE

Bridges to Excellence (BTE), released the findings of a study to determine the extent to which the size of rewards impact physician participation rates for pay-for-performance (P4P) programs.

The study included a statistical analysis of historical BTE data and found that P4P works if the incentives are appropriately set based on the intensity of effort.

"The bottom line is simple: P4P works. However, to work the incentives have to be meaningful and relevant to the physicians," said François de Brantes, BTE CEO. "As Congress readies to work on payment reform, this is an important lesson. If they want the Medicare incentives to work, they have to significantly increase the percentage of dollars at stake. If they do, the positive effects of better quality will occur, otherwise they won’t."

The paper, "Physicians Respond to Pay-for-Performance Incentives: Larger Incentives Yield Greater Participation," was led by François de Brantes and Guy D’Andrea, president of Discern Consulting, a healthcare policy consulting firm.

This P4P model also suggests that the current incentives being offered for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) provision included in the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are significant enough to work. The adoption of electronic medical records is anticipated to skyrocket as a result of this legislation.

However, while BTE’s research suggests that over two-thirds of all physicians will participate in the HITECH incentives, the participation is likely to be skewed towards practices with more than three physicians. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services should look to support smaller practices with technical assistance in addition to the financial incentives to ensure the broadest possible participation.

The research was published in The American Journal of Managed Care.

Addresses: Bridges to Excellence, 13 Sugar St., Newtown, CT 06470; (302) 270-2906,

  This article was taken from:
Pay-For-Performance Reporter

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