NCQA Speaks: 2020 Medicare Physician Payments

September 23, 2019 · Jazmyne Carter

The proposed 2020 Revisions to Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Payment Policies are in.—NCQA reached out to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to comment. Here’s what was said.

What NCQA Supports What and Why?

NCQA supports the proposed move to Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Value Pathways (MVPs) in 2021. MVPs include smaller sets of specialty-specific, outcome-based and Alternative Payment Model (APM) aligned measures. 

Why are MVPs important?

They are key in producing accurate and comparable results. Not to mention, accurate results are a big priority for NCQA. Also, MVPs can provide more timely feedback to clinicians with claims, registry and electronically submitted data. This aligns with NCQA’s work toward digitized electronic quality measure reporting.

Why is electronic reporting the way to go?

It lightens the load, measures what’s important and improves accuracy. However, it can be tough getting everyone on board.

CMS should consider offering financial incentives for moving to electronic reporting. Then support those incentives with stronger audits and certification requirements to further ensure accuracy of results. Currently, MIPS bonus points for end-to-end electronic reporting are a good way to provide financial incentives. Let’s make a good thing a great thing. Increase these bonus points, instead of phasing them out.

Since 2010, the federal government has provided more than $30 billion in incentives for the industry to go digital. But we need more incentives. MVPs are simply not enough to support all needed changes for digital reporting.

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