Pay-for-performance is a misguided plan that is "destined for failure"

LETTER — Posted Sept. 12, 2005

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Regarding "California doctors to see higher pay-for-performance pay" (Article, Aug. 8): How has the inevitable escaped so many? It escaped our predecessors when they turned payment over to the third-party payer. It escaped our senior colleagues when they said OK to HMO and capitation contracts. It escaped our colleagues when they looked the other way as nonphysicians were allowed to autonomously practice medicine. Now again our contemporaries fail to grasp the inevitable. Pay-for-performance will not work.

What is to come of the noncompliant patient with multiple illnesses? Consider Medicare patients in general. I can certainly imagine how many of my colleagues will welcome these patients into their practices knowing they are surely to be penalized for their philanthropy. This program is nothing more than a misguided governmental plan destined for failure; failure to the patient and failure to the physician.

Devin M. Cunning, MD, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/09/12/edlt0912.htm.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn