Financial incentives for hospitals show only short term benefits to patients, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 22 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5266
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Schemes that financially reward NHS hospitals for improving the quality of care and reducing death rates seem to have only short term benefits, new research has found.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the effectiveness of “pay for performance” schemes in UK hospitals was questionable, as schemes did not maintain their initial promise or their early success.1 A range of these programmes, which reward hospitals financially for improving the quality of care provided to patients, have been introduced in the United Kingdom over the past decade, with mixed results.

Advancing Quality, a programme imported from the United States, was introduced in the North West region of England in 2008 and …

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