Study Finds No Link Between Physician Incentives and Ambulatory Quality Measures
American Journal of Managed Care suggests there is no association between quality incentives for physicians and outcomes or adherence to 12 measures of high-quality ambulatory care.
Using the 2006 and 2007 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, researchers sought to determine the prevalence of physician quality incentives and if an association existed between 12 measures under CMS' Physician Quality Reporting System (11 process measures and one outcome measure) and physician incentives based on quality, physician incentives based on satisfaction and public reporting of quality measures.
Among 62,170 visits in 2006 and 2007, nearly 20.8 percent were to physicians whose compensation was partly based on quality; 17.7 percent to physicians whose compensation was partly based on patient satisfaction and 10 percent to physicians who publicly report quality measures. The researchers found adherence to the 12 quality measures varied. For instance, weight reduction counseling only occurred in 12 percent of preventive care visits by obese patients, whereas no urinalysis in patients without an indication was achieved in 93 percent of preventive care visits.
The researchers concluded there was generally no significant association between delivery of the 12 measures and compensation for quality, outcomes and satisfaction. There was also no significant link between public reporting and delivery of 11 measures.
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