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Can you get what you pay for? Pay-for-performance and the quality of healthcare providers

  • Kathleen J. Mullen
  • Richard G. Frank
  • Meredith B. Rosenthal

Despite the popularity of pay-for-performance (P4P) among health policy makers and private insurers as a tool for improving quality of care, there is little empirical basis for its effectiveness. We use data from published performance reports of physician medical groups contracting with a large network HMO to compare clinical quality before and after the implementation of P4P, relative to a control group. We consider the effect of P4P on both rewarded and unrewarded dimensions of quality. In the end, we fail to find evidence that a large P4P initiative either resulted in major improvement in quality or notable disruption in care. Copyright (c) 2010, RAND.

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Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal The RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 64-91

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:41:y:2010:i:1:p:64-91
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  1. Sherry Glied & Joshua Zivin, 2000. "How Do Doctors Behave When Some (But Not All) of Their Patients are in Managed Care?," NBER Working Papers 7907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Dranove & Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan & Mark Satterthwaite, 2002. "Is More Information Better? The Effects of 'Report Cards' on Health Care Providers," NBER Working Papers 8697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:791-810 is not listed on IDEAS
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