We­bi­nar will share best prac­tices on pay­ing doc­tors for qual­ity

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Sabriya Rice

Ef­forts to pay physi­cians for qual­ity out­comes face chal­lenges—such as com­plex com­pen­sa­tion mod­els, poor align­ment of goals and lack of clearly de­fined mea­sures—that can re­sult in failed ef­forts. Thus, adop­tion of pay-for-qual­ity pro­grams for physi­cians has lagged.

Even pri­mary-care physi­cians par­tic­i­pat­ing in ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions, which are de­signed to in­crease care co­or­di­na­tion and re­duce costs, con­tinue to have nearly half their pay linked to pro­duc­tiv­ity, while only about 3% have it tied to qual­ity, said An­drew Ryan, a Univer­sity of Michigan health pol­icy re­searcher. He co-au­thored a study pub­lished last week in the An­nals of Fam­ily Medicine that found large vari­a­tions in com­pen­sa­tion across physi­cian groups that share risk and those that do not. The au­thors said that likely re­flects a lack of con­sen­sus about the most ap­pro­pri­ate ways to pay the doc­tors.

“We need to fig­ure out the bar­ri­ers that are caus­ing pay­ment re­form not to ac­tu­al­ize its full po­ten­tial,” said Mark Zezza, an as­sis­tant vice pres­i­dent at the Com­mon­wealth Fund. The not­for-profit will host a we­bi­nar on val­ue­based pay on Thurs­day for lead­ers of provider or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The aim, Zezza said, is to share strate­gies from 16 or­ga­ni­za­tions with in­no­va­tive pro­grams for pay­ing doc­tors based on qual­ity. Some have made “qual­ity pay” a sep­a­rate line item on doc­tors’ pay­checks, while oth­ers give doc­tors sep­a­rate qual­ity bonus checks in front of their peers dur­ing quar­terly meet­ings. There isn’t sys­tem­atic re­search that says “this is the best way to do it.” But there’s a lot that can be learned from or­ga­ni­za­tions that are ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent meth­ods, Zezza said.

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