Impact of alternative payment plans on professional equity and daily distress of physicians = Impacto de los métodos de pago alternativos en la equidad profesional y el estrés laboral diario de los médicos
Fee-for-service (FFS) payment system has been criticized for affecting quality of care, contributing to the fragmentation of health care, and for rising costs of health care systems. Alternative payment plans (APP) have been introduced as options to the traditional FFS. Despite a link between payment methods and behaviour of physicians has been established, there is a lack of evidence about the impact of payment systems on well-being (motivation and daily distress) of physicians. This dissertation explored the impact of APP on physicians’ perceptions of professional equity and daily distress. The following questions guided this dissertation: 1) Does professional equity perceived by physicians vary among practitioners paid by FFS, APP, or blended alternatives? 2) Is the payment method associated with daily distress of medical practitioners? and 3) Are levels of professional equity, daily distress, and career satisfaction of physicians different by gender and payment methods? In 2011, Physicians practicing in the Saskatoon Health Region, the largest health authority of Saskatchewan, Canada, completed a questionnaire evaluating their perceptions of professional equity and daily distress. In total, 382 (48.1%) physicians participated in the study. Response bias was tested and found to be negligible. The study identified that physicians paid by APP perceived higher professional equity (fair economic rewards and appropriate recognition) in comparison to those paid by FFS. Particularly, family practitioners (FPs) paid by APP perceived higher professional equity than those FPs paid by FFS. The payment method was identified as a factor associated with distress; lower levels of daily distress were predicted among physicians paid by APP who see high proportions of patients with complex conditions. Notwithstanding, female physicians had poorer well-being indicators and the impact of APP on professional equity was only distinguished among males. A potential unequal impact of APP must be recognized between female and male physicians.
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