Different methods used to gauge doc performance

There were 84 P4P programs in the country last year, which affect upwards of 35 million members, according to a new study by Med-Vantage, a San Francisco company that develops physician bonus payment strategies. (In 2003, there were about 60 such programs.) So the idea seems to be catching on — except with physicians, many of whom see P4P programs as a way for health plans to cut costs by penalizing doctors for not following what has been called "cookie-cutter" medicine.

Of the 84 programs studied by Med-Vantage, 57 were sponsored by commercial health plans, 12 by Medicaid plans, 5 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and 4 by other types of organizations.

Just how physician performance is measured has become more important as P4P programs proliferate.

SOURCE: 2004 P4P National Study — Moving Beyond Early Market Adoption, Med-Vantage Inc. (www.medvantageinc.com)

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