Consumer-Directed Choices, Pay-For-Performance Measures Share Common Link

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Consumers and health care providers have more in common than they may know.

Both respond to a slight financial nudge to use health care resources in ways that lead to better outcomes, according to a new issue brief from IncentOne that links pay-for-performance (P4P) initiatives to the use of consumer incentives in health management programs.

"The Missing Link: Consumers and P4P" makes a unique connection between two of health care's burgeoning elements of value-based purchasing: health incentives that motivate behavior on both the supply (provider) and demand (consumer) sides of the health care equation.

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IncentOne is the leading provider of integrated incentive administration solutions. The company's technology platform and health solutions are used by health plans, payors, health partners, brokers and employers charged with reducing health care costs and increasing productivity through positive health behavior change.

"Consumerism and P4P complement each other," said Michael Dermer, president, CEO and co-founder of IncentOne, and featured expert in the brief. "They are designed around the concept that any entity will behave in a desired way if given the proper motivation." The brief also includes insights from Sue Lewis, senior vice president of Health and Productivity Solutions for IncentOne, and Larry Boress, president of the Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), one of the nation's leading non-profit business coalitions.

Consumer-centric health management equips consumers with information so they can make sound judgments about health and health care, from selecting a health plan and choosing high-quality health care providers, to engaging in preventive health screenings and changing unhealthy behavior. Both P4P initiatives and consumer-centered health care depend on solid information and a sophisticated technology platform to function well.

Although some employers are resistant to the idea of steering employees to specific providers who have proven themselves through P4P programs, studies show they want engaged, informed consumers to make smart choices themselves. Boress adds that most employers are more willing to provide their employees an incentive to do so. "Most employers that we have surveyed would rather pay workers to pick better performing doctors than pay doctors for better performing care," he said.

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