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Internists Call for Improvements to Quality Payment Program

Statement attributable to:
Jack Ende, MD, MACP

President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (April 19, 2018)— The American College of Physicians (ACP) has long supported and advocated improving performance measures so they help physicians provide the best possible care to their patients without creating unintended adverse consequences.

A new ACP perspectives article, written by members of ACP’s Performance Measurement Committee, assessed and rated many of the performance measures included in the Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)/Quality Payment Program (QPP). Thirty-seven percent of the measures considered relevant to ambulatory general internal medicine were rated as valid by their assessment.  ACP’s Performance Measurement Committee calls for improving the measure development process; the measures being used should help physicians provide the best possible care to their patients without creating unintended adverse consequences.

While ACP is not calling for MIPS to be repealed or suspended, we are asking for the next generation of performance measures to be based on high quality methodological rigor, follow uniform standards of measure development integrated into care delivery, and move away from easy-to-obtain data designed for billing and not user friendly when it comes to improving care or filling performance gaps.

We appreciate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Meaningful Measures initiative and will continue to work with CMS to improve measures consistent with the recommendations in the new paper.  We believe that physicians should not be penalized based on poorly designed measures.  We also call for other improvements to the QPP that are needed, including a simplified scoring system.

ACP continues to support the original goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and the QPP.  We reiterated this in a letter sent today to key congressional committees.  We urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority to support our call for improvements in the measures used for MIPS, consistent with the recommendations offered by our Performance Measurement Committee.

 

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: Jackie Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org