The National Quality Forum said it will work to create guidelines and standards for pay-for-performance programs that financially reward doctors and hospitals for improving quality of care. The forum agreed to hold a workshop on the subject in early 2005 at the request of the CMS, which has been exploring ways to incorporate pay-for-performance principles into Medicare.
While several insurers and employer groups have launched their own such programs in recent years, little consensus exists on which criteria should be used to measure quality improvements or how much participants should be paid.
"It is highly likely that within a relatively short time, pay-for-performance programs will become the norm for healthcare reimbursement," NQF President and CEO Kenneth Kizer said in a news release. "The main question is how those programs will be designed. They must be based on standardized measures of quality and agreed-upon principles and guidelines."
The NQF is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership.