Jul 14, 2009

Prometheus Payment

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Pauline W. Chen reviewed a new model for healthcare that will provide a warranty to healthcare consumers by making providers pay if they make an “avoidable mistake." Currently, fee-for-service plans place the cost burden of avoidable mistakes on third party payers.
Proposed by Francois de Brantes, the Prometheus Payment model (http://www.prometheuspayment.org/) offers set fees for providers that would cover all the recommended costs for healthcare specific to a person and their healthcare needs, but costs from avoidable errors are payed in part by the provider (and in part by the third party payer). It offers a “warranty” because it makes the provider financially responsible for avoidable complications.
Despite questions regarding how this model would affect the relationship between providers and patients, Mr. de Brantes concludes that such a model would improve the relationship by creating a system that reinforces quality of care.
In an interview with Dr. Chen, Mr. de Brantes says:

Right now you have hundreds of thousands of dedicated and devoted professionals who want nothing else but to apply their knowledge and skills for the betterment of their fellow human being; yet every day they go to work and the entire system militates against their desires of doing the best for their patients. Right now you have 50 to 80 percent of diabetic patients with an encounter that is caused by an avoidable complication; yet it is not because clinicians aren’t trying their best. The odds are simply stacked against them.

What we are proposing is a system that makes it profitable to do the right thing for patients systematically. Our system is not that complicated, but it will require a significant amount of effort on the parts of everyone.

What are your thoughts on the Prometheus Payment model?

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