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CMS Physician Compare Website Publishes Quality Data for the First Time | Avalere Health
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Feb 28, 2014

CMS Physician Compare Website Publishes Quality Data for the First Time

Published

Feb 28, 2014

On Feb. 21, CMS enhanced the Physician Compare website to include the addition of quality measures to indicate the performance achieved on a set number of specific metrics.

The ACA-mandated site already displays physician’s specialties, their board certification and hospital affiliations. It also displays whether physicians participate in Medicare quality programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program, and the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program.

CMS’ data release provides quality information for 66 group practices and 141 ACOs, to facilitate consumer decision making and to increase provider transparency on certain quality measures.  Under federal rule-making, CMS stated that the first available measures for public reporting on Physician Compare would be PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option measures collected in program year 2012 for groups of 25 or more eligible professionals, where the patient sample size is greater than 25. The 2012 Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule indicated the same measures would be publicly reported for all ACOs.

For each measure included, CMS displayed both the percentage measure score and a star rating. Data are published for a subset of Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary Artery Disease measures. These measures include:

For each measure included, CMS displayed both the percentage measure score and a star rating. Data are published for a subset of Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary Artery Disease measures. These measures include:

  • Controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. In general, the average ACOs reached the Medicare goals for 65 to 75 percent of their patients, depending on the measure, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the data. The ACOs did not perform as well as the 66 group practices.

  • Controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes.
  • Prescribing aspirin to patients with diabetes and heart disease.
  • Patients with diabetes who do not use tobacco.
  • Prescribing medicine to improve the pumping action of the heart in patients who have both heart disease and certain other conditions.

Although CMS has provided incentives for provider participation in PQRS for several years, this is the first time that they have publicly reported the provider data. While the data reported on Physician Compare represents only a small subset of PQRS participating physicians, and includes only five measures, CMS is likely to expand the data reported in the future.  As the “stakes” for participation in CMS quality programs continue to increase, physicians will likely increase their focus on performance.  According to the Physician Compare fact sheet, CMS will also publish data for the Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys for both ACOs and group practices of 100 or more physicians, in 2014.

Download the provider-specific excel sheet here.

View the Physician Compare fact sheet here.

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