Healthcare system effects of pay-for-performance for smoking status documentation

Am J Manag Care. 2013 Jul;19(7):554-61.


Objectives: To evaluate the impact on smoking status documentation of a payer-sponsored pay-for-performance (P4P) incentive that targeted a minority of an integrated healthcare delivery system's patients.

Study design: Three commercial insurers simultaneously adopted P4P incentives to document smoking status of their members with 3 chronic diseases. The healthcare system responded by adding a smoking status reminder to all patients' electronic health records (EHRs). We measured change in smoking status documentation before (2008-2009) and after (2010-2011) P4P implementation by patient P4P eligibility.

Methods: The P4P-eligible patients were compared primarily with a subset of non-P4P-eligible patients who resembled P4P-eligible patients and also with all non-P4P-eligible patients. Multivariate models adjusted for patient and provider characteristics and accounted for provider-level clustering and preimplementation trends.

Results: Documentation increased from 48% of 207,471 patients before P4P to 71% of 227,574 patients after P4P. Improvement from 56% to 83% occurred among P4P-eligible patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9-4.5) and from 56% to 80% among the comparable subset of non-P4P-eligible patients (AOR, 3.0; 95% CI, 2.3-3.9). The difference in improvement between groups was significant (AOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4; P = .009).

Conclusions: A P4P incentive targeting a minority of a healthcare system's patients stimulated adoption of a system wide EHR reminder and improved smoking status documentation overall. Combining a P4P incentive with an EHR reminder might help healthcare systems improve treatment delivery for smokers and meet "meaningful use" standards for EHRs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Documentation*
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / economics
  • Reimbursement, Incentive*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult