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New Physician Pay Models Must Reward Quality, Outcomes

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 27, 2014

Brokaw stresses four key elements that should be in any compensation plan:

  1. Aligning incentives to the new care model;
  2. Incentivizing quality and "customer" outcomes;
  3. Creating accountability for quality and outcomes; and
  4. Promoting teamwork and collaboration

"We use the word customer. In the past we have always been patients," Brokaw says. "But more and more organizations are looking at their patients as customers because these customers realize they can go out and find care elsewhere—so how do we treat our customers?"

And as practices wean themselves of traditional fee-for-service models, physician leaders should ask themselves how their new compensation models will change unproductive or disruptive behaviors while building camaraderie and citizenship among physicians—traits that will become critical under value-based care.

The best way to get that result is to make the process transparent for every physician in the practice.

"Education is truly key," Brokaw says. "The physicians will have to be educated on how the model works down to the nth degree and you are going to have a lot of questions and a lot of great conversations. Finally, to make this model work it goes back to that development of a physician champion. You have to have them from the moment you start developing this model to the moment it is fully implemented."

"If they aren't out there talking to their colleagues and getting buy in," she says, "it will never be as successful as it could be."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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