You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

White Coat Notes

Studies question medical rewards

Programs that reward doctors and hospitals for hitting certain quality targets are being rolled out in Massachusetts and across the country. A major focus of the health care law signed by Governor Deval Patrick last week is that doctors should be paid for keeping patients healthy rather than for the volume of tests or treatments they order. Yet, several recent publications question whether pay-for-performance systems actually lead to better care for patients.

A review of seven studies of primary care programs that paid doctors extra for meeting certain targets, published by the Cochrane Collaboration in September, was inconclusive about the effect on quality of care. “Implementation should proceed with caution,” the authors wrote.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week