No pay for performance: Hambleton

In a speech to the International Primary Health Care reform conference in Brisbane, Dr Hambleton championed fee for service as the cornerstone funding source for general practice.

Although he said the AMA was open to blended payment models where fee for service does not work or as an adjunct to fee for service, he was adamant that performance incentives were not the way forward.

“The AMA is wary of financial incentives provided to healthcare professionals to change their behaviour that do not appear to improve patient outcomes,” said Dr Hambleton.

“For example, where clinical indicators are used for the purposes of pay for performance, there is an inherent danger that a focus on achieving clinical indicators and performance against them diverts attention from patient care.

“This danger is particularly present if outcomes measured against clinical indicators are used to dictate or impose levels of safety or quality,