Researchers have studied the impact of financial incentives on US hospitals. Over a period of 10 years, they have not improved the quality of care.
Financial incentive is one of the methods chosen by the French government to improve the quality of hospital care. This method of reform and management has existed in many western countries for some time.
Researchers have been interested in the objective results of this kind of management techniques that have been used for 10 years in the United States. Hospitals subject to a financial incentive had no better results than the others. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.//www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.j5622
A comparison over ten years
The results of their research appeared in the British Medical Journal. It was conducted over 10 years, between 2003 and 2013, in 1189 US hospitals. This long duration of study has made it possible to measure more precisely the real benefits of this program.
In fact, the other studies carried out were limited by a short search time, so the hospitals did not necessarily have time to put in place the expected structural reforms.
Similar mortality rates
The researchers were interested in this comparison to two types of hospitals, those who joined the financial incentive program between 2003 and 2009, the precursors, and a second group, those who joined a second incentive program. from 2011 onwards. This makes it possible to test the long-term results of this type of method.
Both groups of hospitals had a similar mortality rate (14.9% for those who started the program in the beginning, 14.8% for those who started it in 2011). In 2013, this rate was similar for both groups of hospitals: 9.9%.
Being "paid for performance" does not objectively improve the operation of the hospital, nor the quality of care offered, even when these programs are offered over a long period. Researchers point out, however, that financial incentives were low.
Perhaps too low for hospitals to have a real interest in changing their mode of operation.