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