“The programs are often less effective than the designers hoped for,” Jessica Greene, associate dean for research at George Washington University, told the publication after running two studies of a physician-incentive program at Minnesota-based Fairview Health Services.
Economists and healthcare quality and management experts urge provider organizations to review their payment models. “Complex compensation
designs, poor alignment of goals and lack of clearly defined, actionable measures can lead to failed efforts and unintended consequences, they say,” reports Modern Healthcare.
“Poorly aligned monetary motivations can even lead to difficulties with staff recruitment or retention and lead to over-focusing on one specific issue at the peril of other, more important ones.”
“A program in which Houston clinics could receive twice the normal financial incentive given by Medicare for achieving cervical cancer screening, mammography and pediatric immunization targets also had little impact.”“Despite considerable initial enthusiasm for the use of financial incentives for quality improvement, this study does not support the efficacy of this approach,” wrote the authors of a 2010 study of the Houston clinics.