As insurance companies shift more reimbursement away from fee-for-service medicine, doctors and their practices are seeing more of their bonuses and pay hikes based on “value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction and outcome measures,” new reports on physician compensation indicate.
Physician staffing firm MerrittHawkins said 43% of its clients offering physicians a “production bonus” last year based the bonus “in whole or in part on value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction and outcome measures.” That compares to 39% in 2016 and 32% in 2015, according to Merritt’s 2018 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives.
It’s a trend that others who analyze doctor pay are also noticing as health insurers including Anthem, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and Cigna shift more than half of their reimbursement to value-based models that pay doctors based on quality of care delivered and the health outcomes of their patients. That means more reimbursement to doctors is coming via bundled payments, accountable care organizations (ACOs), patient-centered medical home models and pay-for-performance contracts.
The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) said its 2018 Datadive Provider Compensation report showed 25% of providers “having compensation tied to quality and patient experience metrics.” MGMA reported similar trend in a recent poll of doctors showing 26% had physician compensation tied to quality metrics.
It’s a trend unlikely to subside so doctors are being encouraged to prepare for a future where data and analytics will be used by health insurance companies to measure physicians and their practices.
It’s only a matter of time before physicians will see the bulk of their compensation tied to quality measures if current trends hold.