Patient care improves under pay for performance
AUSTRALIAN GPs have nothing to fear from pay-for-performance models, a UK academic has claimed, as such systems can give rise to rapid improvements in the quality of patient care.
Presenting a public lecture at the Australian National University, Dr Stephen Campbell (PhD), a senior research fellow at the University of Manchester, said the GP pay-for-performance model introduced in the UK had led to a drop in inequalities in patient care.
Under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), practices receive financial rewards for reaching a set of government-set benchmarks around patient care and practice administration.
The poorest performing practices had improved at the fastest rate, regardless of their location, he noted.
“The fact that practices in all parts of the country were able to do well was a good consequence,” Dr Campbell said.
However, he noted the benchmarks needed to be constantly reviewed, and in some cases “retired” when improvement in one particular area had plateaued.
He added that the success of the QOF would not have been possible without the UK’s comprehensive e-health system, which was in place prior to the introduction of pay for performance.