Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bonuses for doctors do little to improve cancer screening in Ontario

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Ontario spent nearly $110 million dollars between 2006 and 2010 on bonuses to motivate family doctors to screen more of their patients for cancer but these bonuses were associated with little or no improvement in actual cancer screening rates, according to researchers. "Governments around the world are experimenting with paying doctors extra to improve the quality of care but there's actually very little evidence that this strategy works," said the lead author.

Ontario spent nearly $110 million dollars between 2006 and 2010 on bonuses to motivate family doctors to screen more of their patients for cancer but these bonuses were associated with little or no improvement in actual cancer screening rates, according to researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

Related Articles


The study, published today in Annals of Family Medicine, tracked screening rates for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer in Ontario each year between 2000 and 2010. Researchers found no significant changes in breast and cervical cancer screening rates after bonuses were introduced for doctors in 2006. The screening rate for colorectal cancer increased by 4.7 per cent per year after bonuses were introduced but it was already on the rise -- colorectal cancer screening was increasing by 3 per cent a year before the bonuses came into effect.

"Governments around the world are experimenting with paying doctors extra to improve the quality of care but there's actually very little evidence that this strategy works," said lead author Dr. Tara Kiran, a family physician and an associate scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital.

Screening can catch cancer early and save lives. Pap tests screen for cervical cancer and mammograms are used to detect breast cancer. Colorectal cancer can be picked up by either a fecal occult blood test or a colonoscopy.

The amount doctors were paid varied based on the percentage of their appropriate patients -- determined by age and medical history -- who received the screening test. Physicians who had 60 per cent of their eligible patients screened for cervical cancer received $220 a year; the payment rose to $2,200 if 80 per cent were screened. In 2010, 84 per cent of eligible family doctors received at least one bonus payment and 22 per cent received the maximum bonus payment of $8,400 a year.

During the study period:

  • The screening rate for cervical cancer increased from 55 to 57 per cent
  • The screening rate for breast cancer increased from 60 to 63 per cent
  • The screening rate for colorectal cancer increased from 20 to 51 per cent

"Some alternatives to physician bonuses include targeted outreach by identifying under-screened populations and directly approaching patients," said Dr. Rick Glazier, a senior scientist at ICES and research director in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of St. Michael's Hospital. "Public advertising campaigns in Ontario have been associated with increased screening rates."

The researchers point to many reasons why breast and cervical cancer screening rates may not be improving. For example, many family doctors in Ontario may not have the tools they need to generate electronic reminders that can trigger screening. There also may be patients who decline screening due to misconceptions or because they don't have access to a female provider to perform their Pap test.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Kiran, A. S. Wilton, R. Moineddin, L. Paszat, R. H. Glazier. Effect of Payment Incentives on Cancer Screening in Ontario Primary Care. The Annals of Family Medicine, 2014; 12 (4): 317 DOI: 10.1370/afm.1664

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Bonuses for doctors do little to improve cancer screening in Ontario." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213636.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, July 14). Bonuses for doctors do little to improve cancer screening in Ontario. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213636.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Bonuses for doctors do little to improve cancer screening in Ontario." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213636.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins