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Pay-for-performance schemes explicitly link provider remuneration to the quality of care provided, with the aims of modifying provider behavior and improving patient outcomes. If successful, pay-for-performance schemes could drive improvements in quality and efficiency of care. However, financial incentives could also erode providers’ intrinsic motivation, narrow their focus, promote unethical behavior, and ultimately increase health care inequalities. Evidence from schemes implemented to date suggests that carefully designed pay-for-performance schemes that align sufficient rewards with clinical priorities can produce modest but significant improvements in processes of diabetic care and intermediate outcomes. There is limited evidence, however, on whether improvements in processes of care result in improved outcomes, in terms of patient satisfaction, reduced complications, and greater longevity. The lack of adequate control groups has limited research findings to date, and more robust studies are needed to explore both the potential long-term benefits of pay-for-performance schemes and their unintended consequences.

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Current Diabetes Reports

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