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Showing posts from March, 2011

Ethnic Differences in Diabetes Management in Patients With and Without Comorbid Medical Conditions

The Introduction of the Quality and Outcome Framework (QOF) in 2004 was a major change in how family practitioners are paid in the United Kingdom. The scheme rewards family practitioners for the achievement of predetermined targets. Diabetes is one of the most important components of QOF and accounts for approximately 15 percent of the QOF clinical domain points (650 points are available in the clinical domain out of he total 1,000 points). Currently half of the points available for diabetes care are directed towards the achievement of intermediate outcome targets such as the control of blood pressure, cholesterol and HbA1c.

Although financial incentives have gained momentum in recent years and are seen as a way to improve quality of care, many commentators raised their concerns regarding the potential negative consequences of using pay for performance to improve the quality of care, such as its impact on care delivered to patients from ethnic minority groups and how this may contribu…

Exclusion of patients from pay-for-performance programmes may widen health inequalities

Public reporting of physician and provider performance has become a key component of strategies to improve the quality of health care. Public reporting of performance is also increasingly being linked to provider pay through pay for performance programmes. Many pay for performance schemes permit physicians to exclude selected patients from performance indicators. For example, the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), a major pay for performance scheme introduced into UK primary care in 2004, permits general practitioners to ‘exception report’ patients using set criteria. The criteria include circumstances where a treatment is not clinically appropriate, e.g. achieving tight blood glucose control in a diabetes patient with terminal cancer, or where a patient refuses to attend a review after three clinic invitations.

In a paper published recently in the Journal Diabetic Medicine, Andrew Dalton and colleagues examined associations between patient and practice characteristics and exclusio…