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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: December 29, 2009
Inside Report: Large Medical Groups Pay Member Physicians On Quality-Patient Satisfaction

Fifty percent of large medical groups surveyed in the U. S. received bonus payments from insurance plans based on quality and patient satisfaction, according to a recent analysis.

The survey results found that medical groups with "such external pay-for-performance incentives were more likely to pay their primary care physicians and specialists according to quality and satisfaction measures."

By comparison, groups working under capitation payment incentives to control costs were more likely to pay their physicians a salary and less likely to pay based on productivity than groups whose insurers paid on a fee-for-service basis, the study found.

The study, which looked at data from the 2006-2007 period, appeared in the journal Inquiry published by Excellus Health Plan.

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly one-fourth of large medical groups surveyed pay their member physicians partially based on measures of quality and patient satisfaction;
  • Fifty-two percent of large medical groups received bonus payments based on quality and patient satisfaction measures;
  • For primary care physicians, bonuses averaged 7.6 percent; for specialists, the average was 6.1 percent; and
  • Whether the medical group chooses to pay performance bonuses to its individual physicians is significantly associated with whether the medical group receives P4P bonuses.

Overall, the survey found that "the prevalence of external performance bonuses paid by insurers to large medical groups is larger than the prevalence of performance bonuses paid by the medical groups to the primary care and specialist physicians."

The report on the analysis "Quality-Based Payment for Medical Groups and Individual Physicians," was prepared by James C. Robinson, Stephen M. Shortell, Diane R. Rittenhouse, Sara Fernandes-Taylor, Robin R. Gillies, and Lawrence P. Casalino.

Inquiry, the journal of health care organization, provision, and financing, is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication.

Address: Inquiry, P.O. Box 527, Glenview, IL 60025; (847) 724-9280,

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

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