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Cold water for financial incentives for physicians


“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.



These days, they come and go fast


In a sign of the increasing difficulties of being a hospital system chief executive in these tumultuous times in healthcare, Rulon Stacey has resigned (or ”been resigned”?) 0 as chief executive of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services.

Modern Healthcare reported:

“A statement from Fairview indicated that the departure was due to a combination of professional differences and personal considerations.”

“Stacey was hired in 2013 after the academic medical center went through several high-profile controversies. The not-for-profit system was widely criticized for aggressive collection practices employed by third-party contractor Accretive Health. Fairview also called off a proposed merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health after the deal met resistance from Minnesota officials.”


“….Fairview is part of the CMS Innovation Center’s Pioneer ACO program, the government’s learning laboratory for accountable care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And the system has not yet achieved any savings, which may have raised questions about how ready Fairview is to take on the risk required under the Pioneer model.”



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