Payment schemes for remuneration of primary care dentists: effects are uncertain

Added April 29, 2020

Citation: Brocklehurst P, Price J, Glenny AM, et al. The effect of different methods of remuneration on the behaviour of primary care dentists. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013; (11): CD009853

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the suspension of many types of routine health and social care, including dental services in some countries. Existing research into different methods of remuneration for dentists may provide information to help policy makers during and beyond the pandemic measures.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies of different methods of remuneration on the level and mix of activities provided by primary care dentists and the impact on patient outcomes. The authors did their searches in June 2013. They included two cluster randomized trials, both of which were done in the United Kingdom (total: 503 dental practices representing 821 dentist and 4771 patients).

What was found: Financial incentives within payment systems (fee for service) may increase clinical activity by primary care dentists, but this is based on very low or low quality evidence.

What’s uncertain: The direct impact of many payment schemes for primary care dentists on patient outcomes and cost effectiveness is uncertain.


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