Provider and Patient Directed Financial Incentives to Improve Care and Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes
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- Lorincz, I.S., Lawson, B.C.T. & Long, J.A. Curr Diab Rep (2013) 13: 188. doi:10.1007/s11892-012-0353-9
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Incentive programs directed at both providers and patients have become increasingly widespread. Pay-for-performance (P4P) where providers receive financial incentives to carry out specific care or improve clinical outcomes has been widely implemented. The existing literature indicates they probably spur initial gains which then level off or partially revert if incentives are withdrawn. The literature also indicates that process measures are easier to influence through P4P programs but that intermediate outcomes such as glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol control are harder to influence, and the long-term impact of P4P programs on health is largely unknown. Programs directed at patients show greater promise as a means to influence patient behavior and intermediate outcomes such as weight loss; however, the evidence for long-term effects are lacking. In combination, both patient and provider incentives are potentially powerful tools but whether they are cost-effective has yet to be determined.