Pay-For-Performance Programs Affect Health Disparities

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Pay-For-Performance Programs

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"Pay for Performance -- Financial Health Disparities and the Impact on Healthcare Disparities," Journal of the National Medical Association:The guest editorial, written by Rodney Hood -- president of the SanDiego, Calif.-based Multicultural IPA, CEO of Careview Medical Groupand adviser to the National Medical Association W. Montague Cobb Health Institute-- examines the potential of pay-for-performance programs to addressracial and ethnic health disparities. Hood also looks at experiences ofthe California Integrated Health Association pay-for-performanceprogram and the program's effect on insured minority populations.According to Hood, "P4P has the potential to be one of many tools thatcan improve quality and diminish health disparities," but the"inconvenient truth is we must first address and eliminate thestructural inequities that are built into the reimbursement and qualityimprovement models before we can expect to see true 'qualityimprovement' that will achieve the goal of eliminating healthdisparities." He writes, "We can only solve the problem of eliminatinghealth disparities by first eliminating the inequities that perpetuatethese disparities."

He adds, "We must find the collective will tore-engineer the health system to administer high-quality health care toall of America's diverse populations. We should utilize the bestevidence for quality measures that incorporates population-specificdata that more accurately represents all of America's diversepopulations and mandate a redistribution of resources through corepayment reform that will more fairly compensate providers servingpopulations with disproportionate heavy disease burdens" (Hood, JNMA, August 2007).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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