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Survey Finds Many Primary Care Physicians Have Negative Views of the Use of Quality Metrics and Penalties for Unnecessary Hospital Readmissions

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Half of the nation’s primary care physicians view the increased use of quality-of-care metrics and financial penalties for unnecessary hospitalizations as potentially troubling for patient care, according to a new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fifty percent of primary care physicians say the increased use of quality metrics to assess provider performance is having a negative impact on quality of care. Far fewer (22%) see quality metrics as having a positive impact on quality.

Similarly, 52 percent say programs that impose financial penalties for unnecessary hospital admissions or readmissions are having a negative effect on quality of care, while just one in eight (12%) say such programs have a positive effect. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants view quality metrics and admissions penalties somewhat more favorably but still are more likely to see negative impacts than positive ones.

The findings are from a new brief based on the 2015 National Survey of Primary Care Providers, which captures the experiences and views of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants related to recent changes in health care delivery and payment, including accountable care organizations (ACOs), medical homes, and increased use of health information technology.

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