More Bad News on Pay-for-Performance

We examined the effects in 260 hospitals of a pay-for-performance demonstration project carried out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in partnership with Premier Inc., a nationwide hospital system. We compared these results to those of a control group of 780 hospitals not in the demonstration project. The performance of the hospitals in the project initially improved more than the performance of the control group: More than half of the pay-for-performance hospitals achieved high performance scores, compared to fewer than a third of the control hospitals. However, after five years, the two groups’ scores were virtually identical.

See full Health Affairs study.

Comments (3)

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  1. Bruce says:

    Is any reader of this blog surpirsed at this result? if so speak now or forever hold your …. whatever.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    A post from May 2 linked to an article explaining that only about one-third of hospital executives believe quality and patient outcomes are their primary concern.

  3. Joe Barnett says:

    Isn’t this consistent with the general truism that a positive finding tends to revert to the mean over time? I.e., initially, by chance, they found quality differences, but since the differences were just random fluctuations, after a few years the two groups looked the same. The same has been noted about initially encouraging drug trials.