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Incentives For Doctors Essay

662 words - 3 pages

P4P, Pay for Performance, is an idea that is defined exactly by the way it sounds: Reward quality performance. An ambitious proposal had recently arose to pay doctors in public hospitals based on the quality of their work instead of merely focusing on the quantative data of the numbers of tests they order or pills they prescribe. New York is already on board to reward hospitals bonuses to distribute to their doctors based on certain measures of patient satisfaction and the administration of specific therapies. There are certain aspects of the law, such as the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, that may be of assistance in reducing costs, if Congress does not interfere greatly. It is no secret that this country expends extraordinary amounts of money on healthcare. “Americans spend more than twice as much per capita as other developed countries on health care ---- a crippling 18 percent of the country’s economic output, and growing.” The health care system of America ...view middle of the document...

For, doctors tend to stop serving Medicare patients if the reimbursements fall too low.
“Instead of leverage, P4P employs incentives. Reduce the length of stay for acute-care patients, cut the rate of readmission for pneumonia cases, make sure heart-attack victims get a talk about diet before they are discharged, and you stand to find a little windfall in your paycheck.” P4P, however, has triumphed in theory much more over experience. Critics argue that bonuses do little to truly change behavior or that providers will develop strategies to manipulate the results. “Ashish Jha, a doctor at the Harvard School of Public Health, argues that P4P might get results if the incentive payments to hospitals were substantially bigger, the formulas were simplified and the performance indicators were kept to a few, clear measures that doctors and patients agree matter: mortality rates, infection rates, recurrence of heart attacks.” Another physician, Peter Pronovost, makes a claim to not only continue to bear the economic incentives in mind, but to also make a huge appeal to professional pride. “He proposes that the United States create an agency that would do for medicine what the Securities and Exchange Commission does for securities markets: compile and audit information about the performance of hospitals, and make it public.” Especially, for image-conscious doctors and hospitals, pride and shame might be the biggest incentive out there.
Such a discussion on approaching our healthcare system ties in with economics from various approaches. Currently, our country runs on capitalism. There is some government intervention; it is definitely prevalent when we are considering introducing certain aspects such as the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board. In terms of the determinants of supply, supplier’s expectations are changing. It may or may not be in regard to expected bonuses, but if it is, physicians may conduct their businesses entirely differently if their focus, if in fact a focus lies on bonuses.
I found this article to hold extraordinarily unique and interesting approaches in viewing ways to change our current healthcare system, especially in ways to cut costs. I also found it rather relatable, as not only a growing college student, but also one soon that will no longer rely on parents to take care of the healthcare needs.

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