Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Physicians' quality: incentives and information

In the USA, the Affordable Care Act requires the federal government to post information about physician performance and quality of care on a public website. The recent experience of public and private initiatives has been reviewed in a Health Affairs Brief. If you want to know the implications and details on how to make information accessible for citizens, this is a key document to read.
• By 2019 doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries must choose between two options—enroll in a program called the merit-based incentive payment system or sign up to be part of an alternative payment model.
• The merit-based incentive payment system will adapt and combine multiple programs —PQRS, the EHR meaningful-use program, and the value-based payment modifier initiative—into one.
• Doctors opting for the merit-based incentive payment system must report quality-of-care measures to CMS. How is to be determined, but CMS likely will use an upgraded PQRS reporting system.
• Physicians will be scored on four components of care: quality (30 percent); resource
use (30 percent); meaningful use of EHRs (25 percent); and practice improvement  activities (15 percent).
• Physicians choosing the alternative payment model path would have to be part of an integrated health system, join an ACO.
Sounds interesting. Incentives and information altogether, a hint for other health insurance markets on what to do about it.

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