MIPS: The DOs and DON’Ts in choosing quality over value
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
The American Academy of Family Physicians has called the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS, “the first real opportunity for high-performing physicians to earn substantial bonuses, and for all physicians to avoid penalties if they meet prospectively established quality thresholds.”
The MIPS program is one of two tracks under the Quality Payment Program, which moves Medicare Part B providers to a performance-based payment system. It assesses physician performance under four categories to determine whether an individual qualifies for an incentive payment. The categories are: quality, cost, promoting interoperability, and clinical practice improvement activities.
Highlighting the importance of quality over value is ingrained in the framework of these models, but quality can be defined in different ways by various people. The six domains of healthcare quality, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are determining if the care is: safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered.
Patient safety is crucial to quality care. Measures such as preventable infections and preventable hospitalizations openly highlight patient safety as a critical quality measure.
DO prevent unnecessary hospitalizations;
DO follow proper steps to ensuring patient safety;
DON’T improperly bandage surgical sites, which can lead to infection and, therefore, unnecessary hospitalization.
Readmission rates are the most common quality measure that emphasizes effective care.
DO make sure patients receive proper care in the hospital;
DO counsel them correctly on care coordination after discharge, which should keep readmission rates low;
DON’T focus on process measures.
While it can be difficult to capture timely delivery for each patient, proxy measures help with this.
DO conduct patient-reported measures determining factors such as whether they were seen promptly or had to wait for an appointment;
DON’T avoid surveys such as those from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey which help capture timeliness
Equity of care can be a challenging quality metric to capture, but population-health-reporting strategies can help understand if a plan and provider are delivering equitable care.
DO check to see if screening rates are similar across various demographic groups.
DON’T rely solely on value-based care deals.
Patient experiences are normally collected by providers through CAHPS surveys to measure a patient’s perceptions of the care they are receiving from their provider and their health plan.
DO leverage quality metrics depending on target population and stakeholder needs;
DON’T only use value-based care models as no single one can measure all aspects of quality.
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