"Payment reductions were negligible, (.001%, or $.1 million—equivalent to $1.1 million nationwide) and are unlikely to encourage providers to improve quality," they wrote.
However, Harvard researchers may be confounded by results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationin May, 2012.
That report said that because of the no-payment policy, 81% of infection control experts said they were much more likely to focus on preventing hospital acquired infections, although only 15% said their organizations spent more money on it.
Those responding to the survey reported, however, that they were much more likely to remove urinary and central venous catheters when no longer needed to reduce the chance of infection and resource shifting was more common.
Jha and colleagues want policymakers to consider the impact these penalty and incentive initiatives are having on health outcomes before expanding the program to other aspects of care.