Lengthy waiting times cost health agencies $7 million

Three of B.C.’s health authorities had $7 million in funding withheld by the provincial government as a penalty for not meeting waiting-time targets for certain surgeries last year. The strategy, now in its third year, provides an incentive to hospitals and health authorities to keep their surgical waiting times down.
Jason Sutherland, an assistant professor at UBC’s Sschool of Population and Public Health, is conducting a study on the effectiveness of such activity-based funding and said the B.C. government’s incentive strategy appears to be doing what it was designed to do.
“If they are able to and are willing to offer these incentives over the long term, hospitals will start to respond differently, to become more efficient or change their mix of skills or staff to be able to do more to try and get this incremental funding that they’re not getting right now,” he said.

Vancouver Sun, Wed Feb 8 2012, Page: A3, By: Tara Carman, Link to full text