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CMS Releases Strategic Vision for Physician Quality Reporting Programs

April 24, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its strategic vision for physician quality reporting programs, describing a long-term vision for CMS’ physician quality reporting programs and a future for these programs to strive toward over the next several years.

According to CMS, this vision acknowledges the constraints and requirements of existing physician quality reporting programs, as well as the role quality measurement plays in CMS’ evolving approach to provider payment, which is moving from a purely fee-for-service (FFS) payment system to payment models that reward providers based on the quality and cost of care provided.

There are five principles that the federal agency believes will ensure that quality measurement and public reporting play a critical role in improving the healthcare delivered to millions of Americans:

  • Input from patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals will guide the programs.
  • Feedback and data drives rapid cycle quality improvement.
  • Public reporting provides meaningful, transparent, and actionable information.
  • Quality reporting programs rely on an aligned measure portfolio.
  • Quality reporting and value-based purchasing program policies are aligned.

“CMS relies heavily on quality measurement and public reporting to facilitate the delivery of high quality care,” according to a blog post from Patrick Conway, M.D., principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer at CMS. “This strategic vision articulates how we will build upon our successful physician quality reporting programs to reach a future-state where quality measurement and public reporting are optimized to help achieve the CMS quality strategy’s goals and objectives, and therefore contribute to improved healthcare quality across the nation, including better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.”

According to the blog post, the strategic vision evolved out of the agency’s desire to plan for the future in how it administers the physician quality reporting system (PQRS), physician feedback/value-based payment modifier program, and other physician quality reporting programs. With passage of legislation ending the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, key components of these physician programs will serve as the foundation for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, Conway added.

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