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Francois de Brantes
Francois de Brantes

Proper incentives key to P4P success: study

By Rebecca Vesely
Posted: May 7, 2009 - 12:00 pm ET

Pay-for-performance can be effective if physicians get the right incentives, according to a study by Bridges to Excellence published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

The report used statistical data from Bridges to Excellence pay-for-performance programs with more than 13,500 participating physicians in four cities: Albany, N.Y.; Boston; Cincinnati; and Louisville, Ky. The two programs focused on improving patient care while reducing medical errors in medical practices, and improving care for diabetes patients.

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Physician participation rose as the potential rewards increased, but there was no “cutoff” pinpointing the exact reward driving participation. Sufficient rewards for one type of program may not be sufficient for another type of program. The more health plans offering pay-for-performance, the better the physician participation, the study concluded.

“The bottom line is simple: P4P works,” Francois de Brantes, chief executive officer of not-for-profit Bridges to Excellence, said in a written statement. “However, to work the incentives have to be meaningful and relevant to the physicians.”

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