Pay-for-performance could boost doctor-patient bond, ACP panel says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 29, 2010

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An expert panel convened by the American College of Physicians concluded that transparent and ethical pay-for-performance programs can strengthen the physician-patient relationship.

The panel's analysis, which appeared in the March 16 Annals of Internal Medicine, said transparency of quality measurement and disclosure of payment incentives may enhance patient trust. The point of pay-for-performance programs is to create a financial incentive that aligns the interests of physicians and patients, which can motivate the increased use of preventive services and improved care management, said the ACP-led panel. The group was composed of experts in clinical medicine, law, management and health policy (link).

Pay-for-performance programs that pay only for top-level outcomes run the risk of pitting physicians against one another, the study concluded. The programs instead could be designed to encourage sharing information in a professional way.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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