The Integrated Healthcare Association, the nations largest
pay-for-performance program, will take a big step forward in the
burgeoning pay-for-performance movement when it adds efficiency measures
to the formula it now uses for providing incentives to more than 40,000
California physicians. Were beginning to see the next phase of
pay-for-performance, said Tom Williams, the IHAs executive director.
The IHA said it will add information on cost and resource use to the
three criteria it has used for about five yearsclinical care, patient
satisfaction and the use of information technology.
While some doctors
organizations have harshly criticized efficiency measures as little more
than efforts to control costs, the Oakland-based IHA, whose participating
physicians provide care to more than 6 million Californians, called the
decision a first step to realizing the Institute of Medicines seminar
recommendations to include efficiency measures at every level of provider
aggregation, and to prioritize efficiency measurements in P4P, said
Arnold Milstein, an IHA board member and medical director of the Pacific
Business Group on Health. Milstein focused on the topic in a speech today at
the IHAs second annual National Pay for Performance Summit in Los
Angeles, which attracted about 600 attendees.
Despite widespread concerns from the medical community, physicians in the
Golden State apparently have welcomed the new measures. By doing the
clinically right thing the first time and reducing waste, we can
systematically improve the quality of patient care while at the same time
reduce the cost to purchasers of health insurance, said Wells Shoemaker,
medical director of the California Association of Physician Groups.
The conference also featured a 10-minute address by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who briefly discussed his proposal for universal coverage in the state. -- by Michael Romano