Managed Care

Physician payment may hinge on quality, not quantity, in 2010

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The Institute for the Future, a not-for-profit research group, suggests that over the next 10 years, performance-based payment mechanisms will gain popularity. The institute predicts that health plans and intermediaries will devise reimbursement systems that give physicians and other providers "incentives to deliver care in a manner that improves quality, customer satisfaction, patients' tenure in the plan, and outcomes." Productivity and cost-effectiveness will also be part of the mix, the institute suggests. The report says neither fee-for-service medicine nor capitation are sustainable in the long run; fee-for-service payment inherently is inflationary, while capitation evokes consumer fear of undertreatment.

SOURCE: "HEALTH & HEALTH CARE 2010: THE FORECAST, THE CHALLENGE," INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE, MENLO PARK, CALIF., 2000

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