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The behaviour of health care providers is a significant determinant of the quality of health services provided. Improving the performance of individual providers means creating an incentive structure that motivates individuals to exert the maximum level of effort, in order to ensure the optimal level of services provided, in terms of both quantity and quality.
The three traditional methods of reimbursing individual primary care physicians are salary, fee-for-service and capitation. More recently, pay-for-performance (P4P) schemes that give financial incentives to health-care providers for improved performance on measures of quality and efficiency, have been introduced.
This presentation reports the results of two experimental games designed to test the effects of these different payment mechanisms. Both experiments were played with medical students, who were asked to complete a “real effort task”, showing the quality and quantity of effort exerted under different payment conditions.
The presentation formed part of a session on "Investigating Individual Health Providers' Responses to Incentives in Low- and Middle-Income Countries", at the iHEA Congress, July 2013.