Tuesday, 12 May 2015 05:18

CMS Unveils Strategic Vision for Physician Quality Reporting Programs

Written by Mark Spivey, VBPmonitor.com Correspondent

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made publicly available its “strategic vision” for physician quality reporting programs, the agency announced this week.

The announcement came on the heels of the first instance in which CMS released statistics on its Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) payment adjustments via the 2013 PQRS and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Experience Report. The “strategic vision” specifically outlines a long-term initiative for CMS quality measurements of physicians, other healthcare professionals, and public reporting programs – plus, in the words of CMS, “how they can be optimized and aligned to support better decision-making from doctors, consumers, and every part of the healthcare system.”

“The physician quality programs support CMS’s vision of a health system that achieves better care, smarter spending, and healthier people,” the agency announced in a statement. “These programs support incentives to providers, encourage improvements in care delivery, and deliver information to consumers.”

CMS also outlined five key “principles” it believes will ensure that quality measurement and public reporting play a key role in improving healthcare nationwide:

  • 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 (VBP) program policies are aligned.

“CMS relies heavily on quality measurement and public reporting to facilitate the delivery of high-quality care,” the agency added in its statement. “This strategic vision articulates how CMS will build upon 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.”

The agency explained that the vision evolved out of its desire to plan for the future in how PQRS, VBP, and other physician quality reporting programs are administrated.

“With passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2), key components of these physician programs will serve as the foundation for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. The strategic vision describes in concrete terms how CMS will advance the goals and objectives for quality improvement outlined in the CMS Quality Strategy through these quality measurement and reporting programs,” the agency noted. “These quality measurements and public reporting goals and initiatives encourage stakeholder engagement; reduce participation burden for healthcare professionals; and support meaningful public reporting. CMS’s long-term vision for physician quality reporting programs and the improvement of these programs challenges us to continue striving for excellence in healthcare quality over the next several years.”

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for VBPmonitor.com. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..