Making reporting less burdensome for primary care physicians

While the government implements the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), many feel as though the quality measure reporting for primary care needs to undergo an update.

Primary care has been described as a complex system with patients who have different backgrounds and needs. The priorities for primary care quality management range from patient-centered reporting; quality goals not based on rigid targets; metrics that capture avoidance of excessive testing or treatment; attributes of primary care associated with better outcomes and lower costs; and many others which cannot be fit into a one-size-fits-all quality measures box.

In March, the National Quality Forum’s Measure Applications Partnership said federal agencies should take out several healthcare performance measures.

MAP usually offers the Department of Health and Human Services new or improved measures  to consider adding to the existing measures. However, last month the group contemplated older performance metrics and determined which ones the agency could potentially eliminate due to the inability to provide information that would lead to meaningful care improvements.

They suggested removing 51 of 240 measures that are included in seven federal programs used to determine payment; also offering recommendations to improve the performance measures in nine federal programs.

Suggestions for improving performance measures

MAP’s goal is to reduce the administrative tasks on providers and to ensure that the government applies the most useful performance metrics to measure quality. Primary care physicians are often overwhelmed with paperwork and other uncompensated administrative duties, which contributes to burnout, stress and job dissatisfaction. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have since launched a program to tackle the issue.

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