According to a report from Merritt Hawkins, a big physician search and consulting firm, that isn’t yet happening to a significant degree in the real world. The company’s annual report on recruiting incentives finds that 74% of the jobs they recruited for in the year ending March 31 featured a performance bonus. Of those that offered such a bonus, in 90% of the cases it was linked to “fee-for-service style volume.”
When 90% of health care spending is channeled through government and private insurance, it isn’t surprising that pay will be linked to volume. Hospitals have strong incentive to give doctors the incentive to increase revenue. But what happens when the way to make more isn’t to do the most paperwork, but to keep patients from taking their business elsewhere?