Medicare Quality Reporting Programs are Unsatisfactory

Some recent quality reporting programs include the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the meaningful-use EHR Incentive Program and the Value-Based Payment Modifier Program. These initiatives are part of the U.S. healthcare reform and are an attempt to steer physician behavior to align with the outcomes desired by the government.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) just released the results of a survey on such programs. The survey (Physician Practice Assessment: Medicare Quality Reporting Programs) garnered responses from 1,000 medical groups which include some 48,000 physicians. The report showed that physicians are very critical of the Medicare’s physician quality reporting programs and their impact on patients and practices. Here are some highlights of the survey’s findings:

  • 83% do not believe these quality reporting programs enhance a physician’s ability to provide high quality care to their patients; perhaps we should include physicians in the discussions on patient care.
  • 70% stated the reporting requirements are “very” or “extremely” complex; this speaks volumes about bureaucracy when physicians are having trouble with quality reporting.
  • 85% stated the quality reporting programs negatively affected practice efficiency, support staff time and clinician morale; perhaps the government will next get into practice management.

This is just added validation as to why physicians have stopped taking Medicare patients and many more are making moves in that direction. Good job Washington. I think we all can clearly see now who is “pushing granny off a cliff” and it surely is not the ones involved in patient care.


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