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ATS endorses pay-for-performance for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine
Date:3/24/2010

ely implemented, they can align payor and provider incentives to improve patient care. Our P4P document is in concert with the overall moral and ethical framework of the ATS. The Society supports public health policies and P4P programs when they are developed with the intent of improving outcomes for patients with lung diseases, sleep conditions and critical care illnesses."

Healthcare is inextricably linked to the financial interests of its providers. Among the ATS's primary goals are to improve quality of care for patients and to advance policies that appropriately compensate individuals who provide such care. P4P is one way to couple these two aims.

"Most current systems provide financial incentives to clinicians for providing care based on the patients' diagnoses, the complexity of work they do and the time they are involved," explained Dr. Heffner. "P4P offers an alternative and complementary approach that places more emphasis on the outcome, or quality of care, rather than the quantity of patients seen."

The financial incentives in P4P programs are designed to serve two major purposes: they create an economic stimulus for quality improvement and adoption of evidence-based practices; and they correct the negative consequences of reimbursement schemes that link payment to the volume or complexity of services, rather than the quality.

"The purpose and goals of P4P should be to improve health, reduce disparities, decrease waste and expand access to care," Dr. Heffner continued. "Without the intention of maintaining or improving quality of care, P4P programs are schemes that would decrease cost alone and therefore represent a misapplication of performance-based reimbursement."

However, P4P may also create disincentives for healthcare providers to take on complex or difficult cases, particularly where well-known racial, socio-economic or gender disparities in outcomes exist. According to the statement, it could also enco
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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