Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier Program: First Year Results

HealthDay News — Almost 30% of eligible practices failed to register and report data in the first year of the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, according to a report published in Health Affairs.

Karen E. Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined performance and participation of physicians in the first year of Medicare’s Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, launched in 2015. The program included practices with 100 or more physicians in the first year; 1010 practices met this criterion.

The researchers found that 899 of the practices had at least 1 attributed beneficiary. 

Of these practices, 29.3% failed to report performance data and received a reporting-based penalty of 1%. Of the practices that reported performance data, better performance on quality and costs was seen for those that elected quality tiering (voluntarily received performance-based penalties or bonuses) and for those with high use of electronic health records, compared with other practices.The quality was better, and costs similar, for practices with a primary care focus versus other practices.

“These findings translated into differences in the receipt of penalties and bonuses and may have implications for performance patterns under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System,” the authors write.

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Joynt Maddox KE, Epstein AM, Samson LW, Chen LM. Performance and participation of physicians in year one of Medicare’s value-based payment modifier program. Health Aff (Millwood). 2017 Dec;36(12):2175-2184