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View More Press Releases by Bridges to Excellence

Press release:

Research Shows that Physician Pay-for-Performance Programs Work with Appropriate Incentives

Issued by: Bridges to Excellence

Date: May 7, 2009

Reward amount is crucial to securing active participation of doctors

Newtown, CT – May 7, 2009 – Bridges to Excellence (BTE), the nation’s most extensive effort to recognize and reward high-performing physicians, today 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 research, published in the May issue of The American Journal of Managed Care, 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 Francois de Brantes, CEO of BTE. “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,” can be found online at: http://www.ajmc.com/media/pdf/AJMC_09May_deBrantes305to310.pdf. The study, was led by Francois de Brantes and Guy D’Andrea, president of Discern Consulting, a health care policy consulting firm.

Federal Incentives for HIT Likely to be Successful
This P4P model also suggests that the current incentives being offered for the “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act” or the 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 in order to ensure the broadest possible participation. An analysis of the potential impact of the HITECH stimulus provision can be found on BTE’s website: http://bridgestoexcellence.org/Documents/BTE-HITECH.pdf.

About Discern Consulting
Discern is a health care policy consulting organization focused on improving health systems by aligning incentives with high-quality care. Discern has extensive experience developing and implementing pay-for-performance and other value-based purchasing programs for leading health care organizations. The firm specializes in decision analysis and support, including ROI analysis, financial modeling and simulation. For more information, visit www.discernconsulting.com.

About Bridges to Excellence
Bridges to Excellence (BTE) is a non-profit coalition-based organization created to encourage significant leaps in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding health care providers who demonstrate that they deliver safe, timely, effective, and patient-centered care. BTE works with large employers, health plans, providers and a wide range of organizations that have a shared goal of improving quality and patient outcomes. For more information, visit www.bridgestoexcellence.org.
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For more information: http://www.bridgestoexcellence.org/Content/ContentDisplay.aspx?ContentID=6

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