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Physicians Still Paid for Volume, Not Quality, Survey Finds

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A survey by Merritt Hawkins found the majority of physicians receive compensation based on volume and not quality, despite health reform legislation's focus on quality and cost efficiency, according to a Merritt Hawkins news release.

The company's survey — 2011 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives — includes data from more than 2,660 physician recruiting assignments that Merritt Hawkins conducted from April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011. The results showed that more than 90 percent of searches that included physician production bonuses reward physicians using a fee-for-service volume model. In contrast, less than 7 percent of the searches rewarded physicians for meeting quality of cost goals.

Other findings include the following:

- Fifty-six percent of search assignments involved jobs with hospitals, compared with 23 percent five years ago.
- Only 2 percent of the search assignments featured positions for independent, solo practitioners, compared with 17 percent five years ago.
- Primary care physicians were the firm's most requested type of physician for the sixth year in a row.

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