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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This will be a special grant over and above capitation and other supports.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By combining several regional groups of physicians, they were able to negotiate capitation payments for large patient populations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The school received a lot of their money through capitation grants from the Department of Education.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Oregon also increased capitation payments to encourage primary care providers to screen their patients for substance abuse disorders.’
    • ‘Fee-paying schools do not receive capitation and related supports - unless they are Protestant schools.’
    • ‘For example, with University College Cork, undergraduates pay a €750 registration fee and €65 capitation fee.’
    • ‘The Government should prescribe uniform guidelines to all the colleges regarding the minimum required infrastructure, along with maximum capitation fee and other fees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These policies usually mandate low levels of capitation on the total amount that can be allocated for these services.’
    • ‘The state would pay the salaries of teachers, capitation fees for every student and fund the construction of schools.’
    • ‘An increase in capitation grants to schools of only €50 per pupil would meet the annual insurance costs.’
    • ‘Healthcare organisations in the United States have used financial incentives, such as ‘specialty withholds’ and capitation payments, to reduce referrals to specialists by gatekeepers.’


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