Outcome Based Medicine

Outcome-based medicine is as it sounds: a system of medical care delivery that emphasizes positive patient outcomes. In the United States, outcome-based medicine further describes a payment model in which providers are purportedly compensated in a manner that incentivizes quality care delivery and positive patient outcomes, rather than providing flat payments for services rendered (the status-quo arrangement for U.S. healthcare).


It is important to note that outcome-based medicine is not evidence-based medicine, which describes a clinical approach rather than a reimbursement system. Evidence-based medicine is widely regarded as a best practice for medical providers across the specialty spectrum and is not a subject of serious debate within the community.


Perceived Benefits


Though some may seem obvious, the perceived benefits of outcome-based medicine bear repeating:

  • Improved patient quality of life
  • Fewer compensatory interventions aimed at rectifying negative outcomes
  • Enhanced trust between patients and providers (i.e. patients do not assume that doctors are simply rendering services to pad billings)
  • More emphasis on preventive care and minimally invasive interventions