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The waiting game

US to adopt cost-neutral version of QOF model

The US is planning its own

version of the quality and outcomes framework after assessing latest UK evidence on how the scheme is working.

But American versions are likely to be cost-neutral – with low scorers losing out in pay to their higher scoring colleagues.

The US Congress has cleared the way for use of incentivised targets after passing legislation allowing the state-funded Medicare system to pay doctors for providing information on the care they provide.

Paying them for the quality of their care is the next step and likely to follow shortly, according to a leading UK expert.

Dr Tim Doran, clinical research fellow at the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, has recently returned from a trip to Washington. He said: 'America is very keen on this. Pay for performance will definitely happen in the US over the next few years.'

Dr Michael Rapp, a specialist in health quality assessment in the US Department of Health and Human Services, admitted the department was tracking the QOF closely.

'There's a lot of discussion about pay for performance. We follow what goes on in the UK.'

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