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Hospital mortality rates 'could improve with financial incentives'

Hospital mortality rates 'could improve with financial incentives'
8th November 2012

Mortality rates at hospitals could be improved through the use of financial incentives, according to new research.

Economists and health experts from the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cambridge worked together on a study that investigated how the introduction of a scheme that paid bonuses to hospitals based on measures of quality can have an impact on the delivery of care.

The research found an association between financial incentives and mortality rates, with a saving of almost 900 lives over 18 months.

Professor of Health Economics in The University of Manchester's Institute for Population Health and lead author of the study Matt Sutton said: "Researchers have generally concluded that paying bonuses to hospitals for improving quality of care does not affect patient health. We examined a unique initiative in which a bonus system from the US was adopted only in the north-west of England."

The results of the study could lead to NHS trusts around the country investigating the possibility of introducing new financial incentives in a bid to cut mortality rates.

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