The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has released a set of principles to help payers and providers design pay-for-performance programs that affirm the importance of health information technology in improving patient safety and quality of care.
"Notwithstanding their recent proliferation, pay-for-performance programs are largely untested," said the preamble to the 10-point statement of principals posted on the Web site of the JCAHO, which is based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. "It is important that these programs be well-designed, make every effort to encompass all affected stakeholders for whom the incentives must be aligned, and be designed and implemented in a manner that engenders, maintains, and continually promotes trust among all of the participating parties.
"Just as important," the statement continued, "the broad-scale implementation and success of these programs must necessarily rest upon the timely creation and deployment of an electronic health infrastructure that facilitates the collection, transmittal, and analyses of the performance data that will drive these programs."
Among the principles, the JCAHO called for bonus systems to support "an interconnected healthcare system"; the implementation of "interoperable" standards for collecting, transmitting and reporting information"; and for quality to be measured in units "broader than individual provider organizations and practitioner groups and encourage improvement at these aggregate levels."
JCAHO's board of commissioners approved the statement of principles at its meeting earlier this month.
To see the complete list of principles, go to jcaho.org.
The JCAHO joins the not-for-profit National Quality Forum, which, at the request of the CMS, earlier this month called for the creation of a set of pay-for-performance benchmarks. The NQF will host a workshop in late February or early March in Washington, D.C., to begin addressing the benchmark issue, according to a NQF spokesman.
The Leapfrog Group, a healthcare coalition created by the Business Roundtable to reduce employer healthcare costs by improving quality, began in late June listing pay-for-performance programs on its website. Its list, with 77 programs initially, currently has 88 listings. To see the Leapfrog list, go to leapfroggroup.org.