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Hospital pay for performance incentives may backfire among safety-net hospitals
Date:5/13/2008

mage their reputations and lead to cash shortfalls that leave them unable to invest in quality improvements like nurse staffing or information technology such as electronic health records.

Many of these hospitals are already plagued by financial problems, she says. They are least prepared to absorb the hit of a financial penalty, which only puts them further behind the 8-ball for making quality improvements, and ultimately penalizing the patients who rely on safety-net hospitals for their care.

Werner and her colleagues propose that to level the playing field, pay for performance programs be redesigned to provide bonuses each time hospitals deliver appropriate care, rather than only when they achieve targets that may be unrealistic for their payer mix. The researchers also suggest providing subsidies to fund quality improvements in safety-net hospitals, a model that has already been used successfully among some federally qualified health centers.


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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