Doctors at NYC Health & Hospitals complain of unrealistic quality goals

From Modern Healthcare:

The doctors staffing New York City’s public hospitals stand to lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in incentive payments because of new standards they say are too high.

As part of the doctors’ most recent contract with NYC Health & Hospitals, agreed to last summer, 5% of physicians’ payments from the municipal hospital system are tied to quality.

“I don’t think anything about it is unfair in terms of the concept,” said Dr. Andrew Brotman, who leads NYU Langone’s faculty group practice and oversees its relationship with NYC Health & Hospitals. “It’s the specific implementation.”

Dr. Brotman cited as an example the way H+H has sought to reach regional or national averages on patient satisfaction scores, regardless of whether a given facility’s baseline is far below those levels. He said such unrealistic goals could cost NYU doctors about $8 million if none of the benchmarks are met. That could translate into up to $20,000 in unearned incentives to individual physicians. He said some measures are attainable and others could be reached in future years.

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