Pay for performance may improve health professionals’ use of tests and treatments

Added April 22, 2020

Citation: Yuan B, He L, Meng Q, et al. Payment methods for outpatient care facilities. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017; 3(3): CD011153

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare systems. Existing research into ways to improve provision of outpatient health services might inform actions to ease this.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies that had evaluated the impact of different payment methods on the performance of outpatient care facilities. They did not restrict their search by date or language of publication and did the search in March 2016. They included 8 randomised trials, six controlled before-after studies, four interrupted time series studies and three repeated measure studies. Most of the evidence came from studies of pay for performance.

What was found: Pay for performance will probably lead to a slight improvement in healthcare workers’ use of tests or treatments in outpatient care, particularly for chronic diseases; but may lead to little or no improvement in patients’ use of healthcare services or health outcomes.

What’s uncertain: The costs and effects of adding pay for performance to an existing payment method are uncertain in outpatient care.

The effects on outpatient care of payment methods other than pay for performance are uncertain.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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