Editorial Discusses Pay-for-Performance Programs’ Potential Effect on Health Disparities
"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 San Diego, Calif.-based Multicultural IPA, CEO of Careview Medical Group and adviser to the National Medical Association W. Montague Cobb Health Institute -- examines the potential of pay-for-performance programs to address racial and ethnic health disparities. Hood also looks at experiences of the California Integrated Health Association pay-for-performance program and the program's effect on insured minority populations. According to Hood, "P4P has the potential to be one of many tools that can improve quality and diminish health disparities," but the "inconvenient truth is we must first address and eliminate the structural inequities that are built into the reimbursement and quality improvement models before we can expect to see true 'quality improvement' that will achieve the goal of eliminating health disparities." He writes, "We can only solve the problem of eliminating health disparities by first eliminating the inequities that perpetuate these disparities." He adds, "We must find the collective will to re-engineer the health system to administer high-quality health care to all of America's diverse populations. We should utilize the best evidence for quality measures that incorporates population-specific data that more accurately represents all of America's diverse populations and mandate a redistribution of resources through core payment reform that will more fairly compensate providers serving populations with disproportionate heavy disease burdens" (Hood, JNMA, August 2007).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.