Right now, health care pay­ment is linked to ser­vices. Providers get paid, whether their out­comes are good or not. But, what if we linked pay to quality and effi­ciency of care? We’re about to find out. That’s because pay-​​for-​​performance pro­grams are expanding across the United States health care system, espe­cially under the imple­men­ta­tion of the Afford­able Care Act.

Will new finan­cial incen­tives improve health care and lower costs? North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor Gary Young explains how pay­ment reform may be the key to the ulti­mate suc­cess or failure of Obamacare.

Gary Young is director of the Center for Health Policy and Health­care Research and pro­fessor of strategic man­age­ment and health­care sys­tems at North­eastern University.

There’s a trend in youth sports: We don’t keep score and everyone gets the same size trophy at the end of the season.

Well, that’s also been the basic model for the health care system in the United States. We didn’t keep track of how well providers were doing their jobs and we gave them all the same size trophies.

We called it “fee-​​for-​​service” and it was the pre­dom­i­nant approach to paying for health care in this country for decades. Doc­tors and hos­pi­tals got paid for each ser­vice they pro­vided (an appen­dec­tomy, a flu shot, an MRI, etc.), regard­less of the outcome.

Read the article at WBUR →