Using pay-for-performance payment models could drive providers to show away low-earnings patients with complex care needs, new research suggests.
The report, printed now in Annals of Internal Medicine, found practices that looked after high-risk patients were more prone to receive financial penalties underneath the CMS’ Value-based Payment Modifier program as their patients had greater rates of hospitalization, mortality and Medicare spending.
The required program penalized or rewarded physicians according to their quality outcomes and price of care. This program would be a precursor to and it was substituted with the Medicare Access and Nick Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
“These penalties are disproportionately affecting practices serving sicker and poorer patients,” stated Eric Roberts, a writer from the study and assistant professor of health policy and management in the College of Pittsburgh. “This might send providers the incorrect signal when they would like to avoid penalties, treating more complicated patients is not beneficial on their behalf.Inch
The research also discovered that outcomes did not improve among practices following the program entered effect while they were financially penalized if their performance did not improve.
Roberts stated there might have been several causes of the possible lack of improvement, together with a relatively low-penalty as high as 4% underneath the program in addition to uncertainty among practices about how exactly their performance when compared with their peers.
“There have been weak incentives for behavior change,” he stated.
The research contributes to an increasing debate among health policy experts regarding the need for pay-for-performance payment models. Concerns happen to be elevated that such models don’t motivate providers to enhance and financially penalize providers who treat low-earnings patients.
Within an editorial as a result of the Annals study, Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor of health policy and management in the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as other colleagues authored, “It’s high-time for you to abandon (the standalone pay-for-performance) model.”
Under MACRA, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS, is really a pay-for-performance model that bases physician pay on success in a variety of groups like quality and clinical practice improvement.
Although it will require a couple of more years prior to the impact of MIPS could be evaluated, this program most likely also disproportionately penalizes safety-internet providers similar to the Value-based Payment Modifier Program since it is set-up similarly, Roberts stated.
The incentives under MIPS to enhance care practices also aren’t quite strong, based on Dr. Michael McWilliams, a co-author from the study and professor of healthcare policy at Harvard School Of Medicine. Practices can pick which quality measures they would like to be judged on, opening an chance to “game” the machine, he stated.
Risk-adjustment, a record process the CMS uses to assist level the arena among physician practices in pay-for-performance models like MIPS, can also be limited, McWilliams stated. Info on patient’s education level, earnings as well as zipcode might help paint a much better picture from the social risks someone may be facing. However that information is not readily available to the CMS through claims data.
“It isn’t such as the CMS has a great deal of more information,Inch McWilliams stated.
Thinking about the issues in pay-for-performance models, McWilliams stated “we have to re-think our method of incentivize quality improvement essentially.”
One method to lower costs while improving care would be to promote more competitive healthcare markets, he stated. Providers is going to be motivated to supply high-quality, low-cost care because consumers convey more options.
“We want a far more competitive marketplace,” he stated. “We’re pointed in the other direction, patients have little choice any longer.”