Both public and private health insurers, as well as employers, have come to recognize the importance of experimentation with physician payment methodologies that incentivize medical practices to expand the provision of preventive services, improve clinical outcomes and enhance patient safety and satisfaction with the care they receive. These incentive programs, known collectively as “pay for performance” programs, have the potential to increase physician use of electronic health information technology, evidence-based clinical guidelines, administrative and clinical “best practices” and access to appropriate and timely care.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recognizes the need to reform physician payment, including pay for performance as one approach. However, there are a multitude of organizational, technical, legal and ethical challenges to designing and implementing pay for performance programs. The AAFP also recognizes that there are both advantages (increased payment, improved efficiency and quality) and disadvantages (cost of acquiring information technology, multiple programs and guidelines, data collection) to such programs as they are currently designed and implemented. Payers' physician measurement processes used to rate/designate family physicians should be transparent and adhere to the AAFP policy on Performance Measures Criteria, Physician Profiling, Data Stewardship, and Transparency.
The AAFP supports pay for performance (PFP) programs that adhere to these principles:
The AAFP will use its influence to support and encourage experimentation using the following guidelines:
(2004) (2010 COD)
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