Did the Oncology Care Model produce cost savings?

The answer is ‘yes’, but the magnitude of these savings are relatively small and more than offset by additional OCM program costs. Keating et al. (2021) writes: In this exploratory difference-in-differences study of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with cancer undergoing chemotherapy (483 310 beneficiaries with 987 332 episodes treated at 201 OCM participating practices and 557 354 beneficiaries with…

CMMI and its revised strategy

Created by Section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI; aka The CMS Innovation Center) has been tasked with creating new reimbursement strategies to improve quality and decrease costs. Over the past decade, CMMI has tested over 50 new payment models, and in just the last 3…

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…

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…