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Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself to do a fast test of how effective and fair your group’s compensation plan is, according to reimbursement expert Kent J. Moore from the American Academy of Family Physicians in Leawood, KS:
• Does the system measure what it says it does? For example, is it truly measuring quality or just processes? "There should at least be a strong correlation between what is actually measured and what is supposed to be," Moore stresses.
• Do the measures account for outliers? In other words, are the measures adjusted to account for confounding factors, such as patient mix? For example, if a particular provider’s patient mix is largely Medicare clients, his or her utilization rates will naturally be higher than those of a colleague who cares for mostly younger patients.
• Are the measures revised as new information becomes available? Measures should not be set in stone, but should be changed as needed based on the finding of new clinical research or other data.
• Is what’s being measured within the doctor’s control?
• Are physicians involved in defining the measures? Physician input and buy-in are critical to developing an effective incentive plan because physicians best understand their work and what motivates them.
• What’s the baseline? For example, is individual physician productivity judged against other members of your group, national data, or some arbitrary number?