Measuring Up: Physicians Practices Put at Financial Risk for Performance

The inclusion of operational and quality performance metrics in physician practice-hospital service agreements has become increasingly commonplace as hospitals push to quantify key aspects of the care process. But while hospitals traditionally have framed metrics as a tool to support broad mutual objectives and a collaborative environment, a growing number of organizations are imposing highly specific operational and quality thresholds that trigger significant financial penalties if unmet by the practice. Performance measurement and associated penalties also are being extended beyond the group itself to include the practice medical director. Finally, hospitals are using group performance as a tool to differentiate