Physician Dissatisfaction with Medicare Reporting Skyrockets

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A Medical Group Management Association survey of more than 1,000 physician practice members finds very high levels of dissatisfaction with three major federal quality reporting programs: Physician Quality Reporting System, EHR Meaningful Use and the Value-Based Payment Modifier Program.

While 83 percent of respondents say they have active internal clinical quality improvement programs and 77 percent already use evidence-based protocols to better ensure quality, 84 percent do not believe the federal programs enhance quality.

According to surveyed physicians, the programs simply add unnecessary burdens because of their complexity. Eighty-five percent report the quality programs have a negative effect on clinician productivity; only 12 percent say the programs have positively affected clinical decision making.

In addition, the federal reporting programs negatively impact practices’ resources, more than three-quarters of respondents contend. A large majority reported negative effects on practice efficiency, support staff time and clinician morale.

Despite promises for several years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has yet to fully harmonize the three programs to reduce redundancy in measuring and reporting quality measures, physicians charge.

“Medicare has lost focus with its physician quality reporting programs,” said Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs, during a briefing at the MGMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. “Instead of providing timely, meaningful and actionable information to help physicians treat patients, this has become a massive bureaucratic reporting exercise. Each program has its own set of arcane and duplicative rules which force physician practices to divert resources away from patient care.”

MGMA will continue to advocate a single-harmonized Medicare quality reporting system, he added. The organization conducted the survey during October.

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