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Paying doctors for better care improves quality

The Baltimore Sun / Reuters, September 11, 2013
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Paying doctors in small practices bonuses for the quality of care they provide leads to a modest increase in the number of patients who get the recommended treatment for their conditions, according to a new study. Researchers found that doctors who received bonuses had more patients receiving recommended medications, having their blood pressure under control and being given tools to help them stop smoking, compared to doctors not receiving bonuses. "Payment structures can help people focus on preventive care elements in a setting where patients are sick and there are a lot things going on," Dr. Naomi Bardach, the study's lead author from University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health.