[Financial incentives for quality improvement].Lege Artis Med. 2010 May; 20(5):331-8.LA
Policy makers and payers of health care services devote increasing attention to improve quality of services by incentivising health care providers. These--so called--pay for performance (P4P) programmes have so far been introduced in few countries only and evidence on their effectiveness is still scarce. Therefore we do not know yet which instruments of these programmes are most effective and efficient in improving quality. The P4P systems implemented so far in primary care and in integrated delivery systems use indicators for measurement of performance and the basis for rewards. These indicators are mostly process indicators, but there are some outcome indicators as well. The desired quality improvement effects are most likely to be achieved with programmes that provide seizable financial rewards and cover the extra cost of quality improvement efforts as well. Administration of the programme has to be fully transparent and clear to all involved. It has to be based on scientific evidence and supported with sufficient dedicated funding. Conducting pilot studies is a precondition for large scale implementation.