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1.  Effect of the remuneration system on the general practitioner's choice between surgery consultations and home visits. 
OBJECTIVE--To assess the influence of the remuneration system, municipality, doctor, and patient characteristics on general practitioners' choices between surgery and home visits. DESIGN--Prospective registration of patient contacts during one week for 116 general practitioners (GPs). SETTING--General practice in rural areas of northern Norway. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Type of GP visit (surgery v home visit). RESULTS--The estimated home visit rate was 0.14 per person per year. About 7% (range 0-39%) of consultations were home visits. Using multilevel analysis it was found that doctors paid on a "fee for service" basis tended to choose home visits more often than salaried doctors (adjusted odds ratio 1.90, 99% confidence interval 0.98, 3.69), but this was statistically significant for "scheduled" visits only (adjusted OR 4.50, 99% CI 1.67, 12.08). Patients who were older, male, and who were living in areas well served by doctors were more likely to receive home visits. CONCLUSION--In the choice between home visits and surgery consultations, doctors seem to be influenced by the nature of the remuneration when the patient's problem is not acute. Although home visiting is a function of tradition, culture, and organisational characteristics, the study indicates that financial incentives may be used to change behaviour and encourage home visiting.
PMCID: PMC1059863  PMID: 8120504
2.  Physician remuneration methods: the need for change and flexibility. 
Although fee-for-service payment may create an incentive for some physicians to make inappropriate clinical decisions that will maximize income, physicians are no more prone to this kind of behaviour than other professionals. Remuneration methods do not necessarily have a predictable effect upon practice, as shown by Hutchison and associates' report in this issue (see pages 653 to 661) that the capitation system used by Health Service Organizations in Ontario has not had the intended effect of reducing hospital utilization. However, many essential activities performed by physicians do not fit in a fee-for-service system. The real challenge is to achieve flexibility and balance in any payment system to correct the prevailing gross inequities between different areas of practice and to ensure that disincentives for activities such as health promotion and health service evaluation are eliminated.
PMCID: PMC1487535  PMID: 8603324
3.  How can pharmacist remuneration systems in Europe contribute to generic medicine dispensing?  
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(1):3-8.
Generic medicines can generate larger savings to health care budgets when their use is supported by incentives on both the supply-side and the demand-side. Pharmacists’'remuneration is one factor influencing the dispensing of generic medicines.
The aim of this article is to provide an overview of different pharmacist remuneration systems for generic medicines in Europe, with a view to exploring how pharmacist remuneration systems can contribute to generic medicine dispensing.
Data were obtained from a literature review, a Master thesis in Pharmaceutical Care at the Catholic University of Leuven and a mailing sent to all members of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union with a request for information about the local remuneration systems of community pharmacists and the possible existence of reports on discounting practices.
Pharmacists remuneration in most European countries consists of the combination of a fixed fee per item and a certain percentage of the acquisition cost or the delivery price of the medicines. This percentage component can be fixed, regressive or capped for very high-cost medicines and acts as a disincentive for dispensing generic medicines. Discounting for generic medicines is common practice in several European countries but information on this practice tends to be confidential. Nevertheless, data for Belgium, France, the Netherlands and United Kingdom indicated that discounting percentages varied from 10% to 70% of the wholesale selling price.
Pharmacists can play an important role in the development of a generic medicines market. Pharmacists should not be financially penalized for dispensing generic medicines. Therefore, their remuneration should move towards a fee-for-performance remuneration instead of a price-dependent reimbursement which is currently used in many European countries. Such a fee-for-performance remuneration system provides a stimulus for generic medicines dispensing as pharmacists are not penalized for dispensing them but also needs to account for the loss of income to pharmacists from prohibiting discounting practices.
PMCID: PMC3798161  PMID: 24155810
Drugs, Generic; Drug Substitution; Fees, Pharmaceutical; Pharmacists; Europe
4.  Changing remuneration systems: effects on activity in general practice. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1990;300(6741):1698-1701.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the effects on general practitioners' activities of a change in their remuneration from a capitation based system to a mixed fee per item and capitation based system. DESIGN--Follow up study with data collected from contact sheets completed by general practitioners in one period before (March 1987) a change in their remuneration system and two periods after (March 1988, November 1988), with a control group of general practitioners with a mixed fee per item and capitation based system throughout. SETTING--General practices in Copenhagen city (index group) and Copenhagen county (control group). SUBJECTS--265 General practitioners in Copenhagen city, of whom 100 were selected randomly from the 130 who agreed to participate (10 exclusions) and 326 general practitioners in Copenhagen county. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Number of consultations (face to face and by telephone) and renewals of prescriptions, diagnostic and curative services, and specialist and hospital referrals per 1000 enlisted patients in one week. RESULTS--Of the 75 general practitioners who completed all three sheets, four were excluded for incomplete data. Total contact rates per 1000 patients listed rose significantly compared with the rates before the change index in the city (100.0 before the change v 111.7 (95% confidence interval 106.4 to 117.4 after the change) and over the same time in the control group (100.0 v 106.0), but within a year these rates fell (to 104.2(99.1 to 109.6) and 104.0 respectively). There was an increase in consultations by telephone initially but not thereafter. Rates of examinations and treatments that attracted specific additional remuneration after the change rose significantly compared with those before (diagnostic services, 138.1 (118.7 to 160.5) and 159.5 (137.8 to 184.7) and curative services 194.6 (152.2 to 248.9) and 194.8(152.3 to 249.2) for second and third data collections respectively) and with the control group (diagnostic services 105.3, 107.6 and curative services 106.0, 115.0) whereas referral rates to secondary care fell (specialist referrals 90.1 (80.7 to 100.6) and 77.0 (68.6 to 86.4) and hospital referrals 87.4 (71.1 to 107.5) and 68.4 (54.7 to 85.4] in doctors in the city. CONCLUSIONS--Introducing a partial fee for service system seemed to stimulate the provision of services by general practitioners, resulting in reduced referral rates. The concept of a "target income" which doctors aim at, rather than maximising their income seemed to play a part in adjustment to changing the system of remuneration.
PMCID: PMC1663335  PMID: 2390552
5.  Does an activity based remuneration system attract young doctors to general practice? 
The use of increasingly complex payment schemes in primary care may represent a barrier to recruiting general practitioners (GP). The existing Norwegian remuneration system is fully activity based - 2/3 fee-for-service and 1/3 capitation. Given that the system has been designed and revised in close collaborations with the medical association, it is likely to correspond - at least to some degree - with the preferences of current GPs (men in majority). The objective of this paper was to study which preferences that young doctors (women in majority), who are the potential entrants to general practice have for activity based vs. salary based payment systems.
In November-December 2010 all last year medical students and all interns in Norway (n = 1.562) were invited to participate in an online survey. The respondents were asked their opinion on systems of remuneration for GPs; inclination to work as a GP; risk attitude; income preferences; work pace tolerance. The data was analysed using one-way ANOVA and multinomial logistic regression analysis.
A total of 831 (53%) responded. Nearly half the sample (47%) did not consider the remuneration system to be important for their inclination to work as GP; 36% considered the current system to make general practice more attractive, while 17% considered it to make general practice less attractive. Those who are attracted by the existing system were men and those who think high income is important, while those who are deterred by the system are risk averse and less happy with a high work pace. On the question of preferred remuneration system, half the sample preferred a mix of salary and activity based remuneration (the median respondent would prefer a 50/50 mix). Only 20% preferred a fully activity based system like the existing one. A salary system was preferred by women, and those less concerned with high income, while a fully activity based system was preferred by men, and those happy with a high work pace.
Given a concern about low recruitment to general practice in Norway, and the fact that an increasing share of medical students is women, we were interested in the extent to which the current Norwegian remuneration system correspond with the preferences of potential GPs. This study suggests that an existing remuneration mechanism has a selection effect on who would like to become a GP. Those most attracted are income motivated men. Those deterred are risk averse, and less happy with a high work pace. More research is needed on the extent to which experienced GPs differ along the questions we asked potential GPs, as well as studying the relative importance of other attributes than payment schemes.
PMCID: PMC3355037  PMID: 22433750
6.  Pharmacists Remuneration Models in Iran and Selected Countries: a Comparative Study  
Pharmacists are members of the healthcare teams that provide valuable services to society. Their incentive to deliver such services is influenced by remuneration methods. In this study, we aimed to review the remuneration models for pharmacists’ services and the factors affecting the profitability of pharmacies in some selected countries, including France, Ireland, Canada and Turkey, and compared them to Iran. International data were collected by literature review on Google, Google scholar, PubMed and Scopus. In addition, domestic data were collected by contacting relevant organizations. There is no payment for pharmacists’ cognitive services in Iran and in the countries investigated, except for some Canadian provinces. The dispensing fee system in Iran does not seem to be adequate, especially considering that most of the insurers do not cover these fees. The pricing method in Iran has resulted in a low price level, in comparison to the other countries, and this issue has dramatically affected the profitability of pharmacies in standard practice. It could be concluded that changing the current formulation for the dispensing fee to a more appropriate one, defining a remuneration system for non-owner pharmacists other than salary and implementing the new pricing method are necessary in order to improve the services provided by pharmacies.
PMCID: PMC3920713  PMID: 24523777
Pharmacist; Remuneration; Profit; Pricing; Iran
7.  Impact of remuneration on guideline adherence: Empirical evidence in general practice 
Background and objective. Changes in the Dutch GP remuneration system provided the opportunity to study the effects of changes in financial incentives on the quality of care. Separate remuneration systems for publicly insured patients (capitation) and privately insured patients (fee-for-service) were replaced by a combined system of capitation and fee-for-service for all in 2006. The effects of these changes on the quality of care in terms of guideline adherence were investigated. Design and setting. A longitudinal study from 2002 to 2009 using data from patient electronic medical records in general practice. A multilevel (patient and practice) approach was applied to study the effect of changes in the remuneration system on guideline adherence. Subjects. 21 421 to 39 828 patients from 32 to 52 general practices (dynamic panel of GPs). Main outcome measures. Sixteen guideline adherence indicators on prescriptions and referrals for acute and chronic conditions. Results. Guideline adherence increased between 2002 and 2008 by 7% for (formerly) publicly insured patients and 10% for (formerly) privately insured patients. In general, no significant differences in the trends for guideline adherence were found between privately and publicly insured patients, indicating the absence of an effect of the remuneration system on guideline adherence. Adherence to guidelines involving more time investment in terms of follow-up contacts was affected by changes in the remuneration system. For publicly insured patients, GPs showed a higher trend for guideline adherence for guidelines involving more time investment in terms of follow-up contacts compared with privately insured patients. Conclusion. The change in the remuneration system had a limited impact on guideline adherence.
PMCID: PMC3587301  PMID: 23330604
General practice; guideline adherence; quality of care; remuneration system; The Netherlands
8.  Remuneration and organization in general practice: Do GPs prefer private practice or salaried positions? 
In Norway the default payment option for general practice is a patient list system based on private practice, but other options exist. This study aimed to explore whether general practitioners (GPs) prefer private practice or salaried positions.
Cross-sectional online survey (QuestBack).
General practice in Norway.
Participants were asked whether their current practice was based on (1) private practice in which the GP holds office space, equipment, and employs the staff, (2) private practice in which the GPs hire office space, equipment, or staff from the municipality, (3) salary with bonus arrangements, or (4) salary without bonus arrangement. Furthermore, they were asked which of these options they would prefer if they could choose.
GPs in Norway (n = 3270).
Main outcome measures
Proportion of GPs who preferred private practice.
Responses were obtained from 1304 GPs (40%). Among these, 75% were currently in private practice, 18% in private practice with some services provided by the municipality, 4% had a fixed salary plus a proportion of service fees, whereas 3% had salary only. Corresponding figures for the preferred option were 52%, 26%, 16%, and 6%, respectively. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, size of municipality, specialty attainment, and number of patients listed were associated with preference for private practice.
The majority of Norwegian GPs had and preferred private practice, but a significant minority would prefer a salaried position. The current private practice based system in Norway seems best suited to the preferences of experienced GPs in urban communities.
PMCID: PMC3520417  PMID: 23050804
Capitation; fee for service; general practice; Norway; private practice; remuneration
9.  Medicare Reimbursement Changes for Ambulatory Surgery Centers and Remuneration to Urologic Physician-Owners 
The Journal of urology  2008;180(3):1070-1074.
In an effort to reduce the cost of surgical care, Medicare has introduced a new facility fee schedule for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). This prospective payment system increases reimbursement for many urologic procedures while decreasing reimbursement for others. All stakeholders: physicians, the Medicare program, and hospitals, will be affected by these changes.
Materials and Methods
Using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s State Ambulatory Surgery Databases, we identified Medicare patients in Florida undergoing urologic procedures in ASCs from 1998 to 2005. Three facility groupings were created: urology-dominant, multi-specialty, and other-specialty dominant. First, the impact of reimbursement changes at the procedure and facility levels was assessed using data from 2005. Projections of ASC utilization and reimbursement in 2008 were then generated using all available data.
In 2008, we project total payments by Medicare to increase by $4,233,080 (26% Range 22% to 32%) under the new reimbursement system compared to the old system. At the facility level, reimbursement to multi-specialty facilities increases substantially (49% increase), while urology-specialty facilities receive less benefit (10% increase). Compared to multi-specialty facilities, urology-specialty facilities perform a higher proportion of cases where the reimbursement is set to decrease
Under the new payment scheme for ASCs, winners and losers emerge. Facilities with diversified procedure mixes will find increased revenue, while those with less diversification will find slower growth to their revenue streams. Counter to the desire of the Medicare program to decrease surgical costs, the new program may increase the payments made for urologic surgery.
PMCID: PMC2724316  PMID: 18639293
Medicare; Reimbursement Incentive; Urology; Ambulatory Surgical Procedures; Ownership
10.  Blood donors' motivation and attitude to non-remunerated blood donation in Lithuania 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:166.
In the Soviet period, the blood donation system operated in Lithuania exclusively on a remunerative basis. After joining the EU, Lithuania committed itself to meeting the EU requirements to provide all consumers within its boundaries with safe blood products made from voluntary unpaid blood donations. However, the introduction of a non-remunerated donation system may considerably affect donors' motivation and retention. Thus the aim of the current research was to determine blood donation motives among the present donors and investigate their attitude towards non-remunerated donation.
A questionnaire survey of 400 blood donors. Survey data processed using SPSS statistical analysis package. Statistical data reliability checked using Fisher's exact test (p < 0.05).
Paid donors comprised 89.9%, while non-paid ones made 10.1% of the respondents. Research findings show that 93 per cent of the paid donors give blood on a regular basis; while among the non-remunerated donors the same figure amounted merely to 20.6 per cent. The idea of the remuneration necessity is supported by 78.3 per cent of the paid donors, while 64.7 per cent of the non-remunerated respondents believe that remuneration is not necessary. The absolute majority of the paid donors (92%) think they should be offered a monetary compensation for blood donation, while more than half of the non-remunerated donors (55.9) claim they would be content with a mere appreciation of the act. Provided no remuneration were offered, 28.44 per cent of the respondents would carry on doing it, 29.6 per cent would do it only in emergency, 29.6 per cent would donate blood merely for their family or friends, and 12.3 per cent would quit it completely.
Most respondents admitted having donated blood for the following reasons: willingness to help the ill or monetary compensation. Majority would consent to free blood donation only in case of emergency or as a family replacement, which leads to a conclusion that provided monetary remuneration is completely terminated part of the currently active paid donors would withdraw from this activity, which might seriously affect the national supply of blood and its products.
PMCID: PMC1524746  PMID: 16792814
11.  Publicly funded remuneration for the administration of injections by pharmacists 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(6):353-364.
The administration of injections has become an increasingly common addition to pharmacists’ scope of practice. Four Canadian provinces, all US states and a number of other countries have regulations allowing pharmacists to administer injections. However, the extent to which such services are remunerated is unknown.
We contacted regulatory and advocacy organizations within those jurisdictions where pharmacists are authorized to administer injections to identify publicly funded programs that pay pharmacists for these services, as well as details of the eligible drugs/vaccines. Patient or private insurer payment programs were excluded.
Of the 281 organizations we contact-ed, 104 provided information on a total of 34 pharmacist vaccination programs throughout Canada, the United States, England, Wales and Ireland. Converted to 2013 Canadian dollars, remuneration averages $13.12 (SD $4.63) per injection (range, $4.14-$21.21). All regions allow pharmacists to bill for administration of the influenza vaccine, while some states allow for a number of other vaccines. Alberta has the broadest range of injections eligible for remuneration.
Despite evidence of increased vaccination rates in areas allowing pharmacist administration of injections, the availability of publicly funded remuneration programs and the fee offered vary by more than 5-fold across North America and the United Kingdom.
Pharmacist-administered injections have great public health potential. The range of injections eligible for remuneration should be expanded to include a wide range of vaccines and other injectable drugs, and remuneration should be sufficient to encourage more pharmacists to provide this service.
PMCID: PMC3819957  PMID: 24228051
12.  The case for differential capitation fees based on age in British general practice. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1988;297(6654):966-968.
A study was performed to assess whether the existing differential capitation fees for general practitioners accurately assess differential workloads. Data from the third morbidity study in general practice were used to compare capitation fees with relative workload in differing age and sex groups. The population mix which determined the payment by capitation for the 143 principals in the study provided the basis for examining the advantage or disadvantage the general practitioner got from the existing system. Capitation fees for the elderly underestimated the increased workload by 21% for those aged 65-74 and by 54% for those aged 75 or over but overestimated the workload for male adults aged up to 65. Nevertheless, 60% of the participating general practitioners were not advantaged or disadvantaged by more than 2.5% of their capitation fees (450 pounds a year for the average practitioner with a list of 2000 patients). Similarly 88% were not advantaged or disadvantaged by more than 5%; none were advantaged or disadvantaged by more than 10%. A three scale capitation fee for the age groups 0-64, 65-74, and 75 or over should be applied in the ratio of 3:5:7 rather than in the present ratio of 3:4:5, but given the present population mix in practices there is no case for differential capitation fees by sex or differential fees for the age group 0-4 years.
PMCID: PMC1834665  PMID: 3142570
13.  Part-time women general practitioners--workload and remuneration. 
A postal questionnaire survey was conducted comparing the workload and remuneration of part-time women principals in group practices in the Northern and Oxford regions. Part time was defined as receiving less than a full profit share at parity. Of 501 women principals 308 (62%) responded of whom 146 (47%) were part-time. Respondents were asked to record aspects of workload over a four-week period for themselves and their full-time partner who did the most sessions within the practice. The results showed that although two-thirds of the part-timers had 50% or less of a full profit share, part-time principals overall did about 76% of the daytime clinical work (surgeries and home visits) done by their full-time partners, excluding specialized clinics. The lower the profit share the wider this discrepancy. Although 33% of the respondents did not out-of-hours work, the remainder did more than their profit share would indicate. Twenty per cent of the 116 principals with 40% or more of a full profit share and 57% of the 30 principals with less than 40% of a full profit share felt that their share was unfair. Lack of involvement in practice business and feeling that opinions did not carry equal weight were associated with feelings of unfairness.
PMCID: PMC1712111  PMID: 2560018
14.  Method of physician remuneration and rates of antibiotic prescription 
BACKGROUND: Rates of antibiotic prescription in Canada far exceed generally accepted rates of bacterial infection, which led the authors to postulate that rates of antibiotic prescription depend to some extent on factors unrelated to medical indication. The associations between antibiotic prescription rates and physician characteristics, in particular, method of remuneration and patient volume, were explored. METHODS: The authors evaluated all 153,047 antibiotic prescriptions generated by 476 Newfoundland general practitioners and paid for by the Newfoundland Drug Plan over the 1-year period ending Aug. 31 1996, and calculated rates of antibiotic prescription. Linear and logistic regression models controlling for several physician characteristics, specifically age, place of education (Canada or elsewhere), location of practice (urban or rural) and proportion of elderly patients seen, were used to analyse rates of antibiotic prescription. RESULTS: Fee-for-service payment (rather than salary) and greater volume of patients were strongly associated with higher antibiotic prescription rates. Fee-for-service physicians were much more likely than their salaried counterparts to prescribe at rates above the median value of 1.51 antibiotic prescriptions per unique patient per year. The association between rate of antibiotic prescription and patient volume (as measured by number of unique patients prescribed to) was evident for all physicians. However, the association was much stronger for fee-for-service physicians. Physicians with higher patient volumes prescribed antibiotics at higher rates. INTERPRETATION: In this study factors other than medical indication, in particular method of physician remuneration and patient volume, played a major role in determining antibiotic prescribing practices.
PMCID: PMC1230193  PMID: 10207340
15.  Impact of remuneration and organizational factors on completing preventive manoeuvres in primary care practices 
Several jurisdictions attempting to reform primary care have focused on changes in physician remuneration. The goals of this study were to compare the delivery of preventive services by practices in four primary care funding models and to identify organizational factors associated with superior preventive care.
In a cross-sectional study, we included 137 primary care practices in the province of Ontario (35 fee-for-service practices, 35 with salaried physicians [community health centres], 35 practices in the new capitation model [family health networks] and 32 practices in the established capitation model [health services organizations]). We surveyed 288 family physicians. We reviewed 4108 randomly selected patient charts and assigned prevention scores based on the proportion of eligible preventive manoeuvres delivered for each patient.
A total of 3284 patients were eligible for at least one of six preventive manoeuvres. After adjusting for patient profile and contextual factors, we found that, compared with prevention scores in practices in the new capitation model, scores were significantly lower in fee-for-service practices (β estimate for effect on prevention score = −6.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] −11.9 to −0.6) and practices in the established capitation model (β = −9.1, 95% CI −14.9 to −3.3) but not for those with salaried remuneration (β = −0.8, 95% CI −6.5 to 4.8). After accounting for physician characteristics and organizational structure, the type of funding model was no longer a statistically significant factor. Compared with reference practices, those with at least one female family physician (β = 8.0, 95% CI 4.2 to 11.8), a panel size of fewer than 1600 patients per full-time equivalent family physician (β = 6.8, 95% CI 3.1 to 10.6) and an electronic reminder system (β = 4.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 8.7) had superior prevention scores. The effect of these three factors was largely but not always consistent across the funding models; it was largely consistent across the preventive manoeuvres.
No funding model was clearly associated with superior preventive care. Factors related to physician characteristics and practice structure were stronger predictors of performance. Practices with one or more female physicians, a smaller patient load and an electronic reminder system had superior prevention scores. Our findings raise questions about reform initiatives aimed at increasing patient numbers, but they support the adoption of information technology.
PMCID: PMC3273534  PMID: 22143227
16.  Consultation rates in English general practice. 
Methods of estimating the annual consulting rate per patient are reviewed. Methodological problems include the definition of consultations as opposed to problems encountered, the definition of population at risk, the reliability of data about home visits and the limitations of extrapolating data collected over a short period. Estimates of consultation rate are usually obtained from surveys which have other primary objectives. The annual consultation rate in 1981, excluding telephone contacts, was estimated at 3.5 consultations per patient. In spite of its limited sample size, the general household survey provides a reliable estimate of the national consulting rate. There is, however, a need to validate it against a survey covering a longer period in which consultation rates are measured and not just estimated from memory. The total workload of the 'average' doctor changed little between 1970 and 1981 in spite of reducing list size. Home visits accounted for approximately 15% of all consultations in 1981 and this value has been consistent over the period 1980-83.
PMCID: PMC1711743  PMID: 2552097
17.  General practitioner workload with 2,000 patients 
The Ulster Medical Journal  1986;55(1):33-40.
This study was designed to investigate the relationship between general practice workload, the number of partners in the practice, and the use of health centre premises. Thirty general practitioners in twelve randomly selected practices (each with a list size of 2,000 patients per doctor) agreed to record a week's work on pre-printed forms. Information was gathered on content of care in the surgery, number of non-surgery and indirect contacts and time spent on work activities. Content of care was influenced by whether or not the doctors were based in a health centre, rather on how many partners they had. Conversely the numbers of non-surgery and indirect contacts and the time spent on all work activities were more affected by the number of partners. Two factors — consultation rate and the rate at which doctors initiate consultations — were found to be independent of either of the two variables considered.
PMCID: PMC2448097  PMID: 3739061
18.  Remunerating private psychiatrists for participating in case conferences 
On 1 November 2000, a series of new item numbers was added to the Medicare Benefits Schedule, which allowed for case conferences between physicians (including psychiatrists) and other multidisciplinary providers. On 1 November 2002, an additional set of numbers was added, designed especially for use by psychiatrists. This paper reports the findings of an evaluation of these item numbers.
The uptake of the item numbers in the three years post their introduction was low to moderate at best. Eighty nine psychiatrists rendered 479 case conferences at a cost to the Health Insurance Commission of $70,584. Psychiatrists who have used the item numbers are generally positive about them, as are consumers. Psychiatrists who have not used them have generally not done so because of a lack of knowledge, rather than direct opposition. The use of the item numbers is increasing over time, perhaps as psychiatrists become more aware of their existence and of their utility in maximising quality of care.
The case conferencing item numbers have potential, but as yet this potential is not being realised. Some small changes to the conditions associated with the use of the item numbers could assist their uptake.
PMCID: PMC1343565  PMID: 16359557
19.  The results of nucleic acid testing in remunerated and non-remunerated blood donors in Lithuania 
Blood Transfusion  2014;12(Suppl 1):s58-s62.
In Lithuania, governmentally covered remuneration for whole blood donations prevails. Donors may choose to accept or reject the remuneration. The purpose of this study was to compare the rate of nucleic acid testing (NAT) discriminatory-positive markers for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in seronegative, first-time and repeat, remunerated and non-remunerated donations at the National Blood Centre in Lithuania during the period from 2005 to 2010.
Materials and methods
All seronegative whole blood and blood component donations were individually analysed by NAT for HIV-1, HBV and HCV. Only discriminatory-positive NAT were classified. The prevalence of discriminatory-positive NAT per 100,000 donations in the donor groups and the odds ratios comparing the remunerated and non-remunerated donations were determined.
Significant differences were observed for HBV NAT results: 47.42 and 26.29 per 100,000 remunerated first-time and repeat donations, respectively, compared to 10.6 and 3.58 per 100,000 non-remunerated first-time and repeat, seronegative donations, respectively. The differences were also significant for HCV NAT results: 47.42 and 51.99 for remunerated first-time and repeat donations, respectively, compared to 2.12 and 0 per 100,000 non-remunerated first-time and repeat, seronegative donations, respectively. No seronegative, discriminatory-positive NAT HIV case was found. The odds of discriminatory HBV and HCV NAT positive results were statistically significantly higher for both first-time and repeat remunerated donations compared to first-time and repeat non-remunerated donations.
First-time and repeat remunerated seronegative donations were associated with a statistically significantly higher prevalence and odds for discriminatory-positive HBV and HCV NAT results compared to first-time and repeat non-remunerated donations at the National Blood Centre in Lithuania.
PMCID: PMC3934253  PMID: 24120587
donations; paid donations; infectious disease testing; nucleic acid testing
20.  Characteristics of practices, general practitioners and patients related to levels of patients' satisfaction with consultations. 
BACKGROUND: Despite interest in the relationship between patient satisfaction and consultation performance, there is little information about how other characteristics of general practitioners, practices and patients influence satisfaction with consultations. AIM: To identify characteristics of patients, practices and general practitioners that influence satisfaction with consultations. METHOD: In 1991-92, a consultation satisfaction questionnaire (CSQ) was administered to 75 patients attending each of the 126 general practitioners in 39 practices. Further questionnaires were used to collect information about the practice (such as total list size, training status, fundholding status and presence of a personal list system) and about the general practitioners (age, sex, whether vocationally trained, a trainer or a trainee, and the number of patients booked in the appointment system per hour). Stepwise multiple regression was undertaken to identify characteristics of patients, practices or general practitioners that influenced satisfaction. RESULTS: The mean of the response rates to the patient questionnaire for each general practitioner was 76.6%, with a standard deviation (SD) of 17.8. Practice characteristics associated with falls in satisfaction were an increasing total list size, the absence of a personal list system and its being a training practice. If more patients were booked in the appointment system per hour, satisfaction with the perceived length of consultations fell. Patient characteristics associated with falls in satisfaction were increased age and an increased proportion of male patients. The only characteristic of general practitioners associated with lower levels of satisfaction was increasing age. The sex of general practitioners did not influence satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study give further support to the importance of a personal service in determining patient satisfaction in general practice. General Practitioners need to review the organization of practices to ensure an acceptable balance between the requirements of modern clinical care and the wishes of patients. Future studies should take account of the many variables that can influence patient satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC1239785  PMID: 8945798
21.  Twenty four hour care in inner cities: two years' out of hours workload in east London general practice. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1989;299(6695):368-370.
Two inner city general practices in east London jointly provide care outside normal working hours without using deputising services for about 14,000 patients. The statistics on workload were reviewed for 1987 and 1988. An overall rate of face to face consultations of 4.1 per patient per year was recorded, there being 115,965 consultations over two years for a mean list size of 14,174 patients. Four per cent (4737) of such consultations were outside normal working hours. The annual rate of visiting outside normal hours was 128.1 per 1000 patients in 1987 (1793 visits) and 131.5 per 1000 in 1988 (1888 visits). The rates of night visiting were 18.8 (262 visits) and 18.9 (271 visits) per 1000 patients in 1987 and 1988 respectively. Only 24% of all the requests for medical help out of hours (1483/6220) were dealt with by advice given on the telephone. The high rates of consultation outside normal working hours with only a small proportion being dealt with on the telephone alone may be explained by indices of deprivation. Local rotas for out of hours work are a good compromise between meeting the needs of patients and doctors in deprived areas, but there are financial implications for inner cities.
PMCID: PMC1837234  PMID: 2506972
22.  Waiting list management in general practice: a review of orthopaedic patients. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1996;312(7035):887-888.
OBJECTIVE: To review all patients on a current general practice orthopaedic waiting list for outpatient appointments with regard to accuracy of the list, clinical priority, and need for further radiological investigation before hospital attendance. DESIGN: Record review by one general practitioner and a radiologist, and discussion with patients of management alternatives. SETTING: Six partner city centre urban fund-holding general practice, list size 8651 (29% low deprivation payment status). SUBJECTS: 116 adults on an orthopaedic waiting list. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: List accuracy (patient details and status on waiting list); clinical priority (severity of condition); further investigations (results of tests after radiological review). RESULTS: 32 patients (28%) were removed from the waiting list because of inaccuracies. 14 patients were considered to be high priority and referred to other hospitals by utilising waiting list initiative funds. Of these patients, five agreed to referral to another hospital (treatment completed on average within three months of rereferral), six did not wish to be rereferred, and two did not attend to discuss the offer and remained on the original waiting list. One prioritised patient had further radiological investigations, was reassured, and was taken off the waiting list. 10 patients had further investigations. These resulted in six patients being referred to other hospitals, three being taken off the waiting list, and one seeking private care. CONCLUSIONS: Systematic review of patients on an orthopaedic waiting list of one general practice, though time consuming, led to the identification of inaccuracies in the list and changes in management. Costs need further evaluation, but if the findings occur widely substantial benefits could be achieved for patients.
PMCID: PMC2350605  PMID: 8611882
23.  Remuneration for non-interventional studies – results of a survey in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany 
GMS German Medical Science  2012;10:Doc04.
In 2007 the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa) published recommendations to improve the quality and transparency of non-interventional studies. These recommendations include quality assurance measures, in particular with respect to transparency as well as for the verification of the data collected in these studies. This publication presents the results of a survey on fees in non-interventional studies which was conducted within the member companies of the vfa in June 2011. These results demonstrate a consistent adherence to the statutory requirements and the implementation of the recommendations concerning the remuneration of the study centers. Depending on the indication, the number of routine doctor/patient contacts is different and associated with that number the documentation efforts vary. Accordingly, the fee varies based on the fee schedule for physicians (German: Gebührenordnung für Ärzte) by taking into account the actual efforts at the study center.
PMCID: PMC3278977  PMID: 22355280
24.  Physician Incentives and Disclosure of Payment Methods to Patients 
There is increasing public discussion of the value of disclosing how physicians are paid. However, little is known about patients' awareness of and interest in physician payment information or its potential impact on patients' evaluation of their care.
Cross-sectional survey
Managed care and indemnity plans of a large, national health insurer.
Telephone interviews were conducted with 2,086 adult patients in Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md/Washington DC; and Orlando, Fla (response rate, 54%).
Patients were interviewed to assess perceptions of their physicians' payment method, preference for disclosure, and perceived effect of different financial incentives on quality of care. Non-managed fee-for-service patients (44%) were more likely to correctly identify how their physicians were paid than those with salaried (32%) or capitated (16%) physicians. Just over half (54%) wanted to be informed about their physicians' payment method. Patients of capitated and salaried physicians were as likely to want disclosure as patients of fee-for-service physicians. College graduates were more likely to prefer disclosure than other patients. Many patients (76%) thought a bonus paid for ordering fewer than the average number of tests would adversely affect the quality of their care. About half of the patients (53%) thought a particular type of withhold would adversely affect the quality of their care. White patients, college graduates, and those who had higher incomes were more likely to think that these types of bonuses and withholds would have a negative impact on their care. Among patients who believed that these types of bonuses adversely affected care, those with non-managed fee-for-service insurance and college graduates were more willing to pay a higher deductible or co-payment in order to get tests that they thought were necessary.
Most patients were unaware of how their physicians are paid, and only about half wanted to know. Most believed that bonuses or withholds designed to reduce the use of services would adversely affect the quality of their care. Lack of knowledge combined with strong attitudes about various financial incentives suggest that improved patient education could clarify patient understanding of the nature and rationale for different types of incentives. More public discussion of this important topic is warranted.
PMCID: PMC1495191  PMID: 11318914
trust; managed care; doctor-patient relationships; disclosure; quality of care

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