How to Pay Family Doctors: Why 'Pay Per Patient' Is Better than Fee for Service

20 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2012

See all articles by Ake Blomqvist

Ake Blomqvist

Carleton University; C.D. Howe Institute

Colin Busby

C.D. Howe Institute

Date Written: October 17, 2012

Abstract

Physician compensation accounts for about one-fifth of all Canadian healthcare spending. But physicians’ decisions, particularly those made by primary care doctors, are the conduit for the majority of the system’s costs. The incentives physicians have to promote efficiency, therefore, affect the overall quality and value of healthcare services. We believe that a remuneration model for primary care doctors that emphasizes per-patient payments is the best way for health systems to pay its front-line doctors, although it is less applicable to specialists. Further, we believe that over time the capitation scheme could be extended so that primary care physicians would keep track of the costs of their referrals and prescribed treatments, to encourage the most appropriate and cost-effective methods of treatment and make better use of total health system resources.

Keywords: Social Policy, Health Policy, Canada, healthcare spending, physicians' compensation

JEL Classification: I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Blomqvist, Ake and Busby, Colin, How to Pay Family Doctors: Why 'Pay Per Patient' Is Better than Fee for Service (October 17, 2012). C.D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 365. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2172035 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2172035

Ake Blomqvist (Contact Author)

Carleton University ( email )

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada

Colin Busby

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada

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