Pay for Performance in Primary and Specialty Behavioral Health Care: Two “Concept” Proposals

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Abstract

Incipient pay-for-performance (P4P) plans offer to improve the quality of general medical care, but they have not yet begun to influence clinical outcomes in the behavioral health care arena. Following a brief review of the quality chasm in behavioral health care and some initial applications of P4P programs, this article presents 2 bird's-eye view proposals with which the primary and behavioral specialty care sectors of the American health care system can begin to design and implement P4P incentives. Discussion of the value of behavioral health care, the Provider Quality Index, P4P implementation issues, implications for practicing psychologists, and some cautionary notes conclude the article.

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