Physician group urges CMS to improve quality reporting program

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) yesterday, an association of physician practices, asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to respond to members’ concerns with CMS’s Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). PQRI is a CMS quality reporting program that pays bonuses to physicians to report certain physician-level quality measures. The physician group cited research on physician practices’ experiences with the program that found lack of data for improving patient outcomes, the administrative burden of participation, the difficulty accessing and downloading the 2007 feedback reports, and the delay from the time data were submitted to the time reports were available.

In urging CMS to fix the program, MGMA cited some of the first research released on physician practice experiences with the PQRI. Of the practices able to obtain their PQRI reports, 69.8 percent reported “low” or “no” satisfaction with the document’s guidance in improving patient care outcomes. An overwhelming percentage (92.9 percent) of respondents reported difficulty accessing their reports. On average, respondent practices spent five hours downloading their final 2007 PQRI feedback reports from the CMS Web site. In addition, 63.0 percent of respondents reported difficulty capturing and submitting data. “While MGMA and its members support initiatives that help physicians provide high-quality patient care, these data highlight the fundamental problems with this program,” said MGMA President and CEO William Jessee, M.D. “We implore CMS to heed our members’ feedback and make necessary changes.” (SOURCE: AHA News Now , www.ahanews.com, September 9, 2008)