Health clinics in low- and middle-income countries are increasingly finding that good work can pay off.
Known by a number of names, including results-based financing and performance-based incentives, this health financing mechanism has a simple premise: To reward health service providers — often with money — for positive results. This should lead to even better outcomes for providers and patients alike.
“RBF links monetary and nonmonetary incentives with performance against quality and outpost goals at every level of the health care system, with an emphasis on local management and clinical care providers,” explained Jean Kagubare, global technical lead of health care financing for the international global health nongovernmental organization Management Sciences for Health.
Financing agreements vary, but typically money flows from developing partners — or, in other cases, from national governments — to health clinics, which receive funds based on a formula that considers the number of delivered health services, among other factors.
If a health clinic meets certain quotas for in-house deliveries and immunizations, it could potentially increase its annual budget by 10 to 20 percent of employees’ pooled salaries. External donors could also directly funnel money to governments, from local to national governments, in addition to other payer-recipient combination schemes.
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