Pay for performance doesn’t erode doctor/patient relationship

Pay for performance doesn’t erode doctor/patient relationship

Patients who are told that their primary care physicians participate in a pay-for-performance scheme are not bothered by it, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (A Trial of Disclosing Physicians’ Financial Incentives to Patients). That’s not surprising, because the things the physicians are doing to earn the incentives are typically in the patient’s interest any way. (One potentially significant exception is generic prescribing, which could cause physicians to shy away from more expensive but possibly better medications that do not have generic equivalents. Increased generic prescribing is in many cases the main way that health plans generate a return on investment for their pay for performance programs.)

The study didn’t examine how patients would feel about capitation. Chances are most patients wouldn’t like to hear that their doctor has an incentive not to see or treat them.

See MedPage Today for more.

March 29, 2006

One thought on “Pay for performance doesn’t erode doctor/patient relationship”

  1. I agree that docs with good doc/patient relationships won’t have much trouble getting their patients cooperation and continued trust in a pay for performance system. That is as long as the patient’s performance is managed as well – for instance the patient who thinks he or she needs a test for every symptom and a pill for every ill.

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