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‘Perverse incentive’ in current health care system, says expert

McAllen, Texas (CNN) — Even as the health care debate turns to blood sport in Washington, some analysts say the debate is ignoring one of the leading causes of rising costs: the way health care providers are paid.

“They are rewarded for more services, not better services. They are rewarded for more care, not better care,” said Dr. Elliott Fisher, a lead researcher for the Dartmouth University Atlas of Health. “Most of the U.S. health system is paid simply for each service, regardless of the results of that service.”

The result is what Fisher calls a “perverse incentive” to order more medical services. That may bring a doctor or hospital a healthier bottom line, but it does not provide any better health for patients while driving up costs.


February 11, 2010 - Posted by | Economics of Health care, healthcare, hospitals, insurance, Medicare, quality | , , , ,

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