NEQCA Supports Proposed Reduction in Quality Measures for Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs

September 7, 2018

Why would an organization that prides itself on delivering the highest quality care to patients support a proposal to reduce the number of quality measures used to determine how Medicare Physicians are compensated? The answer is simple. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal to reduce the total MSSP quality measure set from 31 measures to 24 measures will significantly reduce administrative burdens for physicians and members of their practice staffs, enabling them to spend more time caring for patients.

According to NEQCA’s Chief Medical Officer Jatin Dave, “A recent Health Affairs study showed that US physicians spend 785 hours per physician and more than $15.4 billion a year dealing with the reporting of quality measures. At NEQCA, we work to achieve the Quadruple Aim goals of Better Care, Better Health, Lower Cost and Higher Clinician Satisfaction, and we know that one of the most important ways we can make an impact on clinician satisfaction is by reducing the burdens placed on our providers. Our network has a strong history of achieving some of the highest quality scores in the region, and we remain committed to providing very high quality care. At the same time, we need to be sure we’re really focusing our efforts on the most clinically relevant and impactful quality measures and not unnecessarily adding to that number. Having our providers track, review and report on lower impact measures, particularly those that are beyond their control, is frustrating, takes time away from their work with patients and reduces clinician satisfaction. We believe CMS’ proposed change is good for NEQCA and for all providers, and we will continue to advocate with our commercial payers for a limited number of measures that really matter.”

New England Quality Care Alliance and NEQCA Accountable Care, Inc., the organization’s Medicare ACO, recently submitted a formal comment to CMS, supporting the proposed reduction in quality measures. NEQCA Local Care Organizations, affiliated physicians, and others interested in submitting comments can find the information they need to do so at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2017-0092-0012.