Pay for Performance Paper

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The need to improve both the quality and the safety of health care in the United States is well documented. Traditional strategies to stimulate improvement include regulation, measurement of performance and subsequent feedback, and marketplace competition. Despite limited evidence, public reporting of hospital quality data and pay for performance have emerged as two of the most widely advocated strategies for accelerating quality improvement (Lindenauer, 2007). Quality health care is very important to both physicians and patients because in essence everyone wants to be in good health in order to live a long quality life. The United States has a lot of work to do on providing its citizens with quality health care and one such innovation, originally started in Britain was the pay-for-performance approach. This paper will discuss the many factors affecting the pay-for-performance approach and its effects on physicians, patients and the future of health care in the United States. According to the American Medical Association (2005), “physician pay-for-performance (PFP) programs are designed primarily to improve the effectiveness and safety of patient care may serve as a positive force in our healthcare system” (AMA 2005). Pay for performance programs are designed offer incentives to physicians to meet quality and efficiency service to their patients. Under this approach the physician is compensated for their performance based on an evaluation of their services. The data comes from administrative or claims data which measures the quality and/or cost of care along with patient satisfaction data. Using this, the payer then rates the physician or physician practice according to the payer’s own criteria. Currently most physicians are paid on a fee for services basis which means they are paid for their services according to their own structured cost. This payment system approach influences the choice of treatment among therapeutic options and generally favors...
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