[Excerpt ffrom authors]This study reviews the healthcare literature that examines the effect of financial incentives on the behaviour of healthcare organisations and individuals with respect to the quality of care they deliver to consumers. Its purpose is to provide guidance to policy-makers in government and decision-makers in the private sector in their efforts to improve quality of care through payment reforms. In this review and synthesis we assess the quality of the evidence relating to the relationship between financial incentives for providers and quality improvement. Specifically, we address: 1. How effective are efforts to reward providers for improving the quality of care they provide or achieving benchmark levels of quality? 2. Whether, and to what degree, financial incentives intended to restrain costs and utilisation have had secondary effects on quality of care?