A conceptual framework for evaluation of community pharmacy pay-for-performance programs

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Journal of the American Pharmacists Association


Background: Recent interest in initiating pay-for-performance (P4P) programs indicates an underlying belief that economic incentives will have a direct impact on health care quality and efficiency. Evaluations of the impact of P4P programs on health care organizations and providers have been presented in the literature; however, none have focused on the impact of an incentive targeting community pharmacies. Objective: To propose a theory-derived conceptual framework of how a financial incentive might work in a community pharmacy. Methods: Studies from the fields of economics (agency theory), psychology (intrinsic and extrinsic motivators; expectancy theory), and organizational theory (ownership, institutional layers, organizational culture, and change management; quality improvement) were reviewed to inform the framework's components. This proposed conceptual framework also integrated and expanded on previous health care–related P4P models. Results: P4P programs inherently use financial incentives to catalyze change; however, elements from psychology and organizational theories along with economic theory were identified as important considerations in how a financial incentive may operate when targeting a community pharmacy. Through the incorporation of these theories along with other P4P frameworks in health care, a conceptual framework was derived comprising 4 domains: incentive, pharmacy, other influencing factors, and P4P program measures. Hypothesized relationships among these domains were depicted. Conclusion: As focus on improving the quality of health care provision develops, opportunities for pharmacists to provide patient care services beyond dispensing will continue to advance, along with expanded reimbursement mechanisms extending beyond traditional product dispensing. The proposed theory-derived conceptual framework serves to depict how the integration of P4P and other factors may affect the pharmacy environment and subsequently affect a pharmacy's capability to perform well on medication-related quality measures. This framework may be used as a foundation on which to design studies to investigate the association between community pharmacy factors and performance in a P4P program.

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