Payment for Positive Patient Outcomes – Are You Ready?
December 15, 2014
As 2014 comes to a close, we at 3rd Era Dentistry are celebrating the advances that dental auxiliaries have made in treating patients from the platform of greater overall health for our patients.
Learning the importance of and how WE make a difference to our patients during each visit, and within our intimate setting of the operatory, is imperative for “best practice results”.
Management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, is important in improving patient health and reducing health care costs.
The medical field is seeing the emergence of a pay-for-performance (P4P) healthcare model, which provides financial incentives to physicians for achieving better health outcomes for their patients. In the traditional “fee for service” model, doctors are paid a set amount regardless of patient outcomes.
It’s only a matter of time before this model is introduced (pushed?) to the dental industry by the insurance companies. But is payment based clinical success instead of checking off the protocol boxes a bad thing?
Here’s a medical success story that indicates that pay incentives for clinician performance can improve cardiovascular care in small primary care clinics that use electronic health records.
For this study, a team led by Drs. Naomi S. Bardach and R. Adams Dudley from the University of California, San Francisco, in conjunction with researchers from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, examined the effects of P4P in small primary care clinics (1-10 clinicians).
The 84 participating clinics were located in New York City and used electronic health records software as part of a city program. Half of these clinics followed the traditional fee for service model and the other half were set up as P4P clinics.
There were 4 key quality goals. All are known to reduce long-term cardiovascular risk: aspirin or antithrombotic medication prescription, blood pressure control, cholesterol control, and smoking cessation interventions.
In a nut shell, performance improved in both groups of clinics over the course of the study, but clinics with the incentive plan demonstrated significantly greater improvements than control clinics. “Pay-for-performance programs shift the focus from basic care delivery to high-quality care delivery, so they are designed to incentivize people to improve care,” Bardach says.
We already know that the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, is important in improving patient health and reducing health care costs. We also know that optimal oral healthcare; administered, managed and monitored by qualified oral-systemic specialists will be a vital component of a medical practice’s P4P success.
I believe a qualified oral-systemic specialist should embrace this P4P model and gain a competitive advantage by delivering positive patient outcomes for their patients but also by becoming strategic partners with medical practices with the same goal.
P4P? Bring it on! 3rd Era Dentistry Auxiliary Members will be ready!
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