Objective: To determine whether health plan members who saw physicians participating in a quality-based incentive program in a preferred provider organization (PPO) setting received recommended care over time compared with patients who saw physicians who did not participate in the incentive program, as per 11 evidence-based quality indicators.
Data sources/study setting: Administrative claims data for PPO members of a large nonprofit health plan in Hawaii collected over a 6-year period after the program was first implemented.
Study design: An observational study allowing for multiple member records within and across years. Levels of recommended care received by members who visited physicians who did or did not participate in a quality incentive program were compared, after controlling for other member characteristics and the member's total number of annual office visits.
Data collection: Data for all PPO enrollees eligible for at least one of the 11 quality indicators in at least 1 year were collected.
Principal findings: We found a consistent, positive association between having seen only program-participating providers and receiving recommended care for all 6 years with odds ratios ranging from 1.06 to 1.27 (95 percent confidence interval: 1.03-1.08, 1.09-1.40).
Conclusions: Physician reimbursement models built upon evidence-based quality of care metrics may positively affect whether or not a patient receives high quality, recommended care.