Pay for performance: Australian landscape, international efforts, and impact on practice
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Fee-for-service (FFS) funding continues to dominate primary health care in Australia despite calls for reform. FFS, where providers bill for each service they provide, rewards increased activity. This may lead to over-servicing, increased costs (with no controls on prices charged), and negative impacts on quality of care. In contrast, pay-for-performance (P4P) approaches refer to payments to general practitioners (GPs) or practices, according to the number of times a certain standard of performance is met, and have been shown to improve quality.1; 2 Blended funding models have been trialled in Australia, with the 2011-14 Diabetes Care Project (DCP) incorporating P4P and flexible funding, while retaining FFS components. This RESEARCH ROUNDup will examine P4P in the Australian primary health care context and provide lessons from both systematic reviews and international experiences of P4P in primary health care.