Aaron Carroll writes:
I’m getting to be a broken record in my skepticism about pay for performance. Here, here, here, here, here, and here just to name a few posts. But there’s another study out in the Annals of Surgery, “Does Pay-for-Performance Improve Surgical Outcomes? An Evaluation of Phase 2 of the Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration“
…This study involved nearly a million procedures in 12 states over six years. They tried to reduce severe complications and mortality within 30 days. Did paying for performance work?
While mortality went down over time, it didn’t go down faster in the P4P hospitals than the non P4P hospitals. There were no great improvements in complications, and there were no great improvements in mortality. Even in the worst 20% of hospitals (where there is the most room for improvement), P4P was not associated with great improvements over non P4P.