Bigger physician bonuses linked to better patient care

Increasing physician bonus size may improve care quality, researchers report in JAMA Network Open.

The researchers looked at the link between physician bonuses and 20 evidence-based care quality measures the physicians in the study achieved. The mean size of annual bonuses given to physicians was $3,355.

The researchers found bonus size was associated with a greater increase in evidence-based care when compared to a control group.

Several measures of evidence-based care showed improvement when physicians received large bonuses, including blood pressure control and cessation of tobacco use.

"Increased bonus size was associated with significantly improved quality of care relative to a comparison group," the researchers concluded.

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