How physicians fared in the first year of Medicare's Value-Based Payment Modifier program

The first year of Medicare's Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program saw 29.3 percent of eligible practices penalized for failing to register and report data, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

CMS launched the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program in 2015 under Medicare's Physician Fee Schedule. The first year of the program applied to physicians in groups of 100 or more eligible professionals.

For the study, researchers examined quality and cost performance for 899 practices using CMS Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program data for that first year. 

Overall, the study found 263, or 29.3 percent, of those practices failed to register and report data, resulting in a 1 percent reporting-based penalty. The remaining 636 practices registered appropriately and complied with minimum reporting requirements.

Among those 636 practices, researchers said quality and cost performance was best with those that voluntarily elected quality tiering, and those with high use of EHRs.

"These findings may have implications for policy efforts to increase participation as well as for quality improvement efforts in the ambulatory care setting, particularly as the nation's physicians prepare for a transition to the Value Modifier program's closely related successor, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System," the study authors concluded.


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