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    For the last ten years GPs have been paid, by the taxpayer, to deliver ‘general medical services’ through a scheme based partly on incentives. ‘Quality of care’ is assessed using an ‘outcome framework’ known as QOF, whose parameters relate to expected best practice when treating various long-term diseases. Someone with diabetes, for example, should have his cholesterol checked regularly, his blood pressure kept below dangerous levels, and be given medication to keep his blood sugar acceptable. At least once a year, I see all my patients who’ve suffered a stroke to check that they’re on the right treatment to thin […]
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    A GP is trained to identify illnesses, mental conditions and signs of ill health. A GP goes to work in the morning knowing that they’ll spend the day diagnosing and treating, or at least referring patients to more specialist care providers. A GP is paid a salary for doing the job that they’ve been employed to do. So why, then, are they being offered a £55 ‘bonus’ for each dementia diagnosis? It’s said that more elderly people are scared of receiving a dementia diagnosis than a cancer diagnosis. Yet, with a diagnosis an elderly person can access the essential care […]
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    A study of 350 Florida nursing homes, conducted between 2000 and 2007, published in the Journal of Health Care Finance, showed that nursing homes run by private equity groups have more deficiencies and fewer registered nurses than other for-profit facilities. Private equity-run homes had a 9% higher pressure sore risk, and  had a (probably related) 29% lower registered nurse hours per-patient, per-day. Private equity groups target ‘underperforming chains’, which they buy with bank loans secured with the money of private investors. The new management company receive a management fee (often 20% per anum), and the private investors receive a high […]
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