The Effect of Financial Incentives on Quality of Care: The Case of Diabetes

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 12/08

Date: July 2008


Anthony Scott
Stefanie Schurer
Paul H. Jensen
Peter Sivey


Australia introduced an incentive payment scheme for general practitioners to ensure systematic and high quality care in chronic disease management. There is little empirical evidence and ambiguous theoretical guidance on which effects to expect on the quality of care. This paper evaluates the impact of the payment incentives on quality of care in diabetes, as measured by the probability of ordering an HbA1c test. The empirical analysis is conducted with a unique data set and a multivariate probit model to control for the simultaneous self-selection process of practices into the payment scheme and larger practices. The study finds that the incentive reform had a positive effect on quality of care in diabetes management and that participation in the scheme is facilitated by the support of Divisions of General Practice.

Download Paper