Public and private insurers increasingly use quality payment programs as a tool to improve quality of care in primary care settings. However, little is known about primary care providers' perspectives on whether and how quality payment programs improve diabetes quality of care. In this qualitative study, the authors conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 23 providers from March to June 2015. Transcripts were analyzed to identify key themes using the immersion-crystallization method. Almost all of the providers believed that insurers play a meaningful role in improving quality of care for diabetes patients. Most thought that insurers' efforts are more effective when channeled through providers and delivery systems rather than directed at patients. Providers generally believed that quality payment programs have had a positive impact on quality of diabetes care, although provider views were not evidence based. Providers in practices in which quality payment programs were believed to have had a positive impact stated that the programs provided financial incentives and resources for improved population health management systems and additional staff. Conversely, most providers did not believe that quality payment programs have had any impact via direct financial incentives to individual physicians. A few providers were skeptical about the impact of quality payment programs and noted negative consequences that they had observed. Providers recommended strategies to improve quality payment programs (eg, refine quality measures, provide regular feedback on quality and costs) and additional strategies that insurers could consider to address provider- and patient-level barriers to high-quality diabetes care.
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Provider Perspectives on Quality Payment Programs Targeting Diabetes in Primary Care Settings.