The United States’ current healthcare system has long been structured to emphasize the quantity of health care over the quality of health care. Such a focus of quantity is evident in the fee-for service structure, where providers are paid a specified amount for each service provided. This structure gives doctors and other health providers’ incentive to order extra tests and procedures that may be unnecessary to improve the outcome of the patient. Thus, fee-for service payments motivate healthcare providers to give more care, but not necessarily better, care. President Obama recently stated that the current structure â€•is a model that has taken the pursuit of medicine from a profession — a calling — to a business.
To break this trend of quantity-based care, several payment models have emerged to encourage quality care. A pay-for-performance structure is increasingly being used by healthcare providers, which improves quality by basing providers’ payment incentives on their ability to reduce cost for the patient while still providing quality care. This pay-for-performance model, however, offers little compensation to doctors and physicians compared to the current fee- for service system. As an alternative, the PROMETHEUS Payment model establishes its own method by focusing first on the patient’s clinical needs.8 PROMETHEUS stands for: Provider payment Reform for Outcomes Margins Evidence Transparency Hassle-reduction Excellence Understandability and Sustainability.