Gary J. Young J.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Director
Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research
Northeastern University
Email: Discipline: Law, Health Care/Systems Management Expertise: Quality of Care, Healthcare Management, Healthcare Law, Strategic Management

Investigator Award
Quality at a Price: Theory, Evidence and Policy Implications of a Pay-for-Performance Strategy
Award Year: 2006 Are pay-for-performance (P4P) programs, which provide financial incentives to health care providers for achieving quality targets, the silver bullet for improving health care quality or just another fad? While many health plans located throughout the United States, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are creating P4P programs, their ability to improve health care quality and reduce costs has not been established. Gary J. Young, J.D., Ph.D. has evaluated several national demonstration projects of P4P and finds mixed results so far. His Investigator Award project, Quality at a Price: Theory, Evidence and Policy Implications of a Pay-for-Performance Strategy, assesses the value of P4P and challenges to its implementation. Young also examines the effects of P4P on clinicians' attitudes toward their work and sense of professionalism, and whether P4P programs can lead some providers to avoid sicker or less compliant patients. The results of his study should help guide policy decisions about investing, designing, and implementing P4P, and where it can be applied most effectively.


Gary J. Young is a professor and director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research at Northeastern University. Previously, he was a professor and chair of the department of health policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health. He was also associate director of the Boston University-affiliated Center for Organization, Leadership and Management Research, which is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Young's research focuses on organizational, managerial, and legal issues associated with the delivery of healthcare services. He has directed research projects focusing on such topics as the community impact of converting nonprofit hospitals to for-profit status, antitrust issues associated with hospital mergers, the effects of hospital governance arrangements on strategy and performance, and the impact that management practices have on quality of care in healthcare organizations. In recent years he has been focusing on the implementation and impact of pay-for-performance programs that are intended to improve clinical quality in the healthcare industry. His published work has appeared in such journals as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, Medical Care, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and Academy of Management Journal. In 1998 he received from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) the John D. Thompson Prize in Health Services Research for Young Investigators.