Pay-for-performance in the UK: the impact of the Quality and Outcomes Framework – systematic review

Gillam, Stephen J., Siriwardena, A. Niroshan and Steel, Nicholas (2012) Pay-for-performance in the UK: the impact of the Quality and Outcomes Framework – systematic review. Annals of Family Medicine, 10 (5). pp. 461-468. ISSN 1544-1709

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PURPOSE Primary care practices in the United Kingdom have received substantial financial rewards for achieving standards set out in the Quality and Outcomes Framework since April 2004. This article reviews the growing evidence for the impact of the framework on the quality of primary medical care.
METHODS Five hundred seventy-five articles were identified by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases, and from the reference lists of published reviews and articles. One hundred twenty-four relevant articles were assessed using a modified Downs and Black rating scale for 110 observational studies and a Critical Appraisal Skills Programme rating scale for 14 qualitative studies. Ninety-four studies were included in the review.
RESULTS Quality of care for incentivized conditions during the fi rst year of the framework improved at a faster rate than the preintervention trend and subsequently returned to prior rates of improvement. There were modest cost-effective
reductions in mortality and hospital admissions in some domains. Differences in performance narrowed in deprived areas compared with nondeprived areas. Achievement for conditions outside the framework was lower initially and has
worsened in relative terms since inception. Some doctors reported improved data recording and teamwork, and nurses enhanced specialist skills. Both groups believed that the person-centeredness of consultations and continuity were negatively affected. Patients’ satisfaction with continuity declined, with little change in other domains of patient experience.
CONCLUSIONS Observed improvements in quality of care for chronic diseases in the framework were modest, and the impact on costs, professional behavior, and patient experience remains uncertain. Further research is needed into how to improve quality across different domains, while minimizing costs and any unintended adverse effects of payment for performance schemes. Health care organizations
should remain cautious about the benefits of similar schemes.

Keywords:quality improvement, primary care, general practice, Quality and Outcomes Framework, pay-for-performance, systematic review
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B714 Practice Nursing
A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:6128
Deposited On:11 Sep 2012 15:24

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