A whole range of incentives are successfully used throughout industries such as businesses, the government, and even our personal lives to improve performance and gain better results. For example, employers may offer bonuses to reward their best performing employees, or a parent might reward their child for getting good grades. However, in the healthcare industry, there is little which links physician reimbursements or rewards with providing good quality care. Incentives both can and should be used to link the naturally motivating power of reimbursement with the standard of a physician’s clinical performance.
As the health care industry begins to focus more and more on the business side of things, the need for physician incentive plans is being realized more and more often. More provider groups, healthcare planners, and purchasers are beginning to understand the necessity of incentive strategies for physicians and other healthcare professionals. However, although there are some pioneering leaders in healthcare who are fully utilizing and leading the way with a physician incentive strategy, the idea is very much still in its early stages.
For a large number of healthcare provider groups and providers, the use of financial incentives is the most effective when it comes to keeping physicians motivated and satisfied at work. However, so far, financial incentives are more likely to be linked to things such as productivity or utilization methods, rather than to quality of care or quality improvement. Organizations which utilize incentives for quality improvement within the roles of physicians tend to rely on things such as member satisfaction surveys or big data reporting systems such as AccuReports® from http://frgsystems.com/ to measure the performance of a provider. Both health plans and providers which use incentives to encourage the improvement of care quality tend to use a mixture of both financial and non-financial incentives concurrently.
Which Type of Incentives Work Best?
Although many healthcare groups and businesses in the healthcare industry are utilizing both financial and non-financial incentives in order to encourage the improvement of physicians’ quality of care, the question remains, which one of these two incentives works best and provides the best results? According to research, financial incentives are generally more influential than non-financial incentives when it comes to improving the quality of care. Incentive strategies, whether financial or non-financial, are also more effective when based on the perspective of individual physicians, rather than the group as a whole.
Along with using incentives and incentive plans to encourage and motivate physicians, hospitals and other healthcare groups are realizing that there are a number of other key factors which affect how effective these incentives are. These include the relationship and level of trust between the physicians and the incentive provider, the size of financial incentives, the need for change and stimulus amongst physicians, and the amount of support given for the incentive program by leadership and upper management level staff.
Incentives are definitely not a new thing when it comes to the world of work and business. But, in the healthcare industry, incentives are only just being put into place in many areas.