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    Better quality will equal better pay for physicians

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to Medical Economics' blog section which features contributions from members of the medical community. These blogs are an opportunity for bloggers to engage with readers about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Jeffrey Gene Kaplan, MD, MS, a senior pediatrician and retired physician executive. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Medical Economics or UBM Medica. 


    Dr. KaplanI ended my last blog on an optimistic recommendation—”10 Steps That Reduce Poor Quality and Unjustified Care Costs.”

    Tying doctor's pay to the quality of the care rendered is called “incentive alignment,” and it is critical to achieving value and to properly balance healthcare’s cost, quality and access.


    Blog: Top 3 warnings to medical providers from the fall of retail


    To elaborate on the quality aspect, a January 11, 2013 NY Times piece: “New York Ties Doctors' Pay to Quality of Care” lists 13 performance indicators for what used to be called continuous quality improvement (CQI) or total quality management (TQM) under managed care. Examples:

    ·      How well do patients feel their doctors are communicating?

    ·      How many patients with heart failure and/or pneumonia are readmitted to the hospital within a month of admission?

    ·      How quickly do ER/ED patients go from triage there to a bed on the floor? Who is responsible for delays, if any?

    ·      Are doctors getting to the operating room on time?

    ·      How quickly are patients being discharged from the hospital?


    Next: Expanding indicators further

    Jeffrey Gene Kaplan, MD, MS
    Senior pediatrician, Ezras Choilim Health Center, Inc. and retired physician executive.


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