Objectives: In order to make tuberculosis (TB) treatment more effective and to lower the transmission rate of the disease, the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) in Taiwan implemented the 'Pay-for-Performance on Tuberculosis' programme (P4P on TB) in 2004. This study investigates the effectiveness of the P4P system in terms of cure rate and length of treatment.
Methods: This retrospective study obtained information on all TB cases in the national data sets of Taiwan for the years 2002 to 2005. The number of cases in pre-P4P years (2002 and 2003) was 25 754, compared with 33 536 in the post-P4P implementation years (2004 and 2005). The effectiveness of the programme was evaluated by comparing the TB cure rate and length of treatment before and after the implementation of the P4P programme, and between participating and non-participating hospitals. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to explore the factors affecting TB patients' cure rate within a 12-month treatment period.
Findings: The cure rate and the average length of treatment before the implementation of P4P were 46.9% and 256.24 days, respectively, compared with 63.0% and 249.74 days after implementation of P4P. The cure rate and length of treatment in P4P hospitals were 68.1% and 249.13 days, respectively, compared with 42.4% and 53.71 days in non-P4P hospitals.
Conclusions: This study found that both the cure rate and average length of treatment for cured cases improved significantly after the implementation of the P4P on TB programme in Taiwan. Compared with non-P4P hospitals, P4P hospitals had significantly better treatment outcomes. Patients' age, income level, the physician density of a patient's place of residence, and whether the hospital has joined the P4P on TB programme are factors affecting the treatment outcomes of TB patients in Taiwan.