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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Participating in other incentive programs

It pays to report — literally. By participating in quality reporting functions, you can participate in incentive programs. For some reason, the government and healthcare industry want you to report on things. Who knew they liked reports? All kidding aside, it benefits you to report on quality, even beyond the scope of improving your office functions and patient care.

Pay-for-performance (P4P) programs were created by healthcare payers to encourage physicians to follow evidence-based guidelines for preventive and chronic disease care measures. In 2006, a New England Journal of Medicine article reported that more than half the health maintenance organizations (HMOs), representing more than 80 percent of enrolled patients, used pay-for-performance in their provider contracts. We’re sure that number is much greater today, representing physicians who serve more than 150 million patients. According to a white paper published by EHR vendor Sage, P4P payments represent more than 7 percent of physicians’ total compensation. Although that’s not necessarily big bucks, every source of income counts. Would you walk away from a 7 percent raise?

warning_bomb.eps Health Affairs (May 2010) published findings from a RAND Corporation study that found pay-for-performance programs might have an unintended consequence of lower payments for practices that serve vulnerable populations. ...

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