I’ve devoted several blog posts on how pay for performance has and will affect hospital reimbursement. I came across a blog post on KevinMD.com that advocates for patients to be involved in the pay for performance mix.
In the blog post, family physician Dr. Stewart Segal advocated for “patient pay for performance” rather than the “doctor pay for performance” that has been suggested by some insurers and Medicare. The pay for performance method suggested for physicians would financially reward, and penalize, doctors based on how their patients fared with their health and health outcomes.
Dr. Segal’s suggestion is for patients who adopt healthier living habits to have reduced premiums and reduced deductibles to reward their healthy behavior. Obviously patients who are healthy already enjoy less spending on medications and hospital visits but even patients with chronic health conditions could be provided incentive to control their health condition better.
For example, a patient with diabetes could receive incentive for keeping blood sugar in a safe range. A patient with high blood pressure could receive incentive on maintaining a safe average blood pressure and an obese patient could receive incentive for continued weight loss.
I like Dr. Segal’s idea and it could change some patient’s approach to their care. Active involvement in one’s own health does not always provide immediate feedback or instant gratification but a few extra dollars in the wallet may encourage a patient to be more engaged and in the end should more than pay for the program.