Definition of capitation in English:



mass noun
  • The payment of a fee or grant to a doctor, school, etc., the amount of which is determined by the number of patients, pupils, or customers that are served.

    as modifier ‘income from capitation fees’
    • ‘In Britain the problems associated with capitation grants were recognised in the early 1920s and were subsequently abolished and replaced with a block grant.’
    • ‘There was no addressing of the real costs involved through the extension of staff grants for example, or through capitation grants for the under twos.’
    • ‘Students will need to have been working in summer jobs that pay 10 per hour to pay the costs of going to college plus the increase in capitation fees.’
    • ‘For example, with University College Cork, undergraduates pay a €750 registration fee and €65 capitation fee.’
    • ‘Fee-paying schools do not receive capitation and related supports - unless they are Protestant schools.’
    • ‘Oregon also increased capitation payments to encourage primary care providers to screen their patients for substance abuse disorders.’
    • ‘There's the 20 per cent tax credit for the childcare expenses of parents, and a promise to fund childcare and pre-schooling through a €1,200 capitation grant.’
    • ‘These policies usually mandate low levels of capitation on the total amount that can be allocated for these services.’
    • ‘The school received a lot of their money through capitation grants from the Department of Education.’
    • ‘This will be a special grant over and above capitation and other supports.’
    • ‘Furthermore, because these patients are not registered, capitation payments to primary care trusts may be reduced leading to a loss of health care for local people.’
    • ‘Incentives may be aimed directly at individual doctors such as capitation payments, caps on fee-for-service income, and target payments for screening set proportions of a population.’
    • ‘The Government should prescribe uniform guidelines to all the colleges regarding the minimum required infrastructure, along with maximum capitation fee and other fees.’
    • ‘By combining several regional groups of physicians, they were able to negotiate capitation payments for large patient populations.’
    • ‘Consequently, budgets based on capitation formulas may discourage doctors from taking on patients with complex health needs who would be expected to make high use of healthcare services.’
    • ‘The state would pay the salaries of teachers, capitation fees for every student and fund the construction of schools.’
    • ‘Healthcare organisations in the United States have used financial incentives, such as ‘specialty withholds’ and capitation payments, to reduce referrals to specialists by gatekeepers.’
    • ‘The department's capitation grant to each of the State's 3,200 primary schools is based on the number of pupils, with €133.58 given to school boards for every child enrolled.’
    • ‘The front page had a story about a large group of physicians threatening to drop out of the largest health plan because of a proposed change in payment from fee for service to capitation.’
    • ‘An increase in capitation grants to schools of only €50 per pupil would meet the annual insurance costs.’


Early 17th century (denoting the counting of heads): from late Latin capitatio ‘poll tax’, from caput ‘head’.