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AHRQ releases pay-for-performance decision guide

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a new resource to help employers, health plans, Medicaid agencies, and others who are considering starting a pay-for-performance program make decisions about how to design, implement, and evaluate the activity.

The free tool, Pay for Performance: A Decision Guide for Purchasers, poses 20 key questions that leaders from an employer group, health plan, or other health care purchasing group should ask themselves as they consider a pay-for-performance program. Included are questions such as whether or not to partner with other purchasers, focus on clinicians or hospitals first, make provider participation mandatory or voluntary, how much money to allot to the activity, and how to address provider concerns about risk adjustment for severity of illness. The decision guide also includes special advice for Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care plans. Each question is followed by a discussion that includes possible options and potential unintended consequences.

To access Pay for Performance: A Decision Guide for Purchasers, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/p4pguide.htm.

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