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05.07.2018 | Original Paper Open Access

Design and effects of outcome-based payment models in healthcare: a systematic review

The European Journal of Health Economics
F. P. Vlaanderen, M. A. Tanke, B. R. Bloem, M. J. Faber, F. Eijkenaar, F. T. Schut, P. P. T. Jeurissen
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10198-018-0989-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Outcome-based payment models (OBPMs) might solve the shortcomings of fee-for-service or diagnostic-related group (DRG) models using financial incentives based on outcome indicators of the provided care. This review provides an analysis of the characteristics and effectiveness of OBPMs, to determine which models lead to favourable effects.


We first developed a definition for OBPMs. Next, we searched four data sources to identify the models: (1) scientific literature databases; (2) websites of relevant governmental and scientific agencies; (3) the reference lists of included articles; (4) experts in the field. We only selected studies that examined the impact of the payment model on quality and/or costs. A narrative evidence synthesis was used to link specific design features to effects on quality of care or healthcare costs.


We included 88 articles, describing 12 OBPMs. We identified two groups of models based on differences in design features: narrow OBPMs (financial incentives based on quality indicators) and broad OBPMs (combination of global budgets, risk sharing, and financial incentives based on quality indicators). Most (5 out of 9) of the narrow OBPMs showed positive effects on quality; the others had mixed (2) or negative (2) effects. The effects of narrow OBPMs on healthcare utilization or costs, however, were unfavourable (3) or unknown (6). All broad OBPMs (3) showed positive effects on quality of care, while reducing healthcare cost growth.


Although strong empirical evidence on the effects of OBPMs on healthcare quality, utilization, and costs is limited, our findings suggest that broad OBPMs may be preferred over narrow OBPMs.

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