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Pioneering hospital pay-for-performance program falls short of its goals
Date:6/8/2011

eive substantial bonuses.

The use of "pay for performance" for the purpose of identifying and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the care of Medicaid patients within hospitals marked a new approach for states. After the innovation was introduced in 2008, it became a subject of national interest.

This study of Massachusetts' use of pay-for-performance to reduce racial and ethnic inequities in hospital care was authored by Dr. Jan Blustein, professor of health policy and medicine at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, along with Joel S. Weissman of Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Andrew M. Ryan, assistant professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College; Tim Doran, clinical research fellow in public health at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester, England; and Roman Hasnain-Wynia, director, Center for Healthcare Equity, and associate research professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

While no signs of racial or ethnic disparities were detected by the researchers, they noted the program is in its early years, and over time, policymakers may be able to more effectively measure and address disparities.

Even so, it's also possible that time will show that hospital pay-for-performance may be an inadequate tool for reducing health care disparities, the researchers wrote. A more effective way to reduce racial and ethnic inequities may be to focus on hospitals that heavily serve minority populations, or to attend to barriers to health and health care access that are rooted in factors "beyond hospital walls" over which hospitals have little direct influence, the authors suggested.


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Contact: Robert Polner
robert.polner@nyu.edu
646-522-3046
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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