Pay-for-performance is a misguided plan that is "destined for failure"
LETTER — Posted Sept. 12, 2005
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.