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Giving Doctors an Incentive

While partisan rancor over health care continues in the U.S., Australia is forging its own health care path. Its government, hoping to encourage doctors to treat diabetics outside the hospital, announced that doctors will be given a cash payment for every diabetic they treat, and an additional payment for patients whose health improves.  Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outlined the strain that diabetics place on Australia’s health care system: “In 2007-08, around 237,000 hospital admissions were related to complications from diabetes that could have been avoided through better management.  This is 32 per cent of all avoidable hospital admissions.” The pay-for-performance nature of this program is evident — but so too is the potential for abuse. How do you think it will play out? (HT: Chris McCracken) [%comments]