GAO Report on MIPS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week published a report evaluating the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS is an approach for CMS to pay physicians caring for Medicare beneficiaries based not just on volume but on value. MIPS evaluates provider value along four dimensions: (1) quality, (2) improvement activities, (3) promoting interoperability, and (4)…

Impact of Medicare Pay-for-Performance Program for Surgical Procedures on Cost and Outcomes

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Present on Admission (HAC-POA) program. The goal of this program was to reduce the frequency of high-cost complications among Medicare beneficiaries. The mandatory program penalized hospitals as it would no longer reimburse them for treating of preventable complications that developed during…

Impact of star ratings on provider demand

For years, Medicare and other payers have used quality measures to evaluate the quality of care patients receive at various types of providers settings (e.g., hospital, home health agencies, skilled nursing homes). For some payers, higher quality scores/higher star ratings lead to direct increases in reimbursement through a value-based purchasing arrangement. Typically, value-based payment systems…

Goal Attainment Scaling

What outcomes should be used to measure if a medicine is a “good” medicine? Improved survival? Improved ability to function? Few side effects? Ability to get back to work? Living to attend your daughter’s wedding? All of the above? Oftentimes, health economists measure value of a treatment for the average person. Preferences for efficacy, safety,…

Impact of COVID-19 on CMS’ value-based programs

Many Medicare payment initiatives aim to link reimbursement to value. Value includes both cost and quality of care. However, measuring quality of care during a pandemic is problematic. Further, most of CMS’ value-based purchasing programs–such as Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) and the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program all…