Quality Measures Linked to Small yet Increasing Percentage of Physician Payment

by | Published on Jun 22, 2015 | Healthcare News

Physician Payment
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Healthcare providers improving a patient’s experience and medical care through quality treatment and care can improve the health of populations along with reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.

According to the survey data released last week by MGMA, the Medical Group Management Association of physicians in group practice, primary care physicians reported that an average of 5.96% of their total compensation was based upon measures of quality, while specialists reported that an average of 5.70% of their total compensation was based upon quality metrics. Instances of quality measures include the percentage of patients with hypertension who have their blood pressure under control, and the percentage of diabetic patients who receive an annual eye exam.

The survey known as “Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data,” provides data on more than 66,299 providers. The report includes data for physicians and non-physician providers in more than 170 specialties, including demographic categories ranging from geographic region and practice setting (in small, medium and large groups) to years in specialty and majority ownership.

The report found that the median compensation rose to $232,989 in 2013 for primary care doctors, while there is a slight increase for specialists to $402,233.

Physicians responding to the survey also reported that patient satisfaction played a small role in their compensation, very likely a result of the industry’s shift toward patient-centered care. The survey shows that 2.31 percent of specialists’ physician pay was tied to patient satisfaction in 2013 compared to 1.61 percent in 2012.

In comparison, MGMA’s 2013 report showed median primary care compensation in 2012 at $220,942 and specialist pay at $396,233.

The MGMA credits the additional physician recruitment benefits to the predicted increase in patient volume from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges.

MGMA executives said the data shows doctors are increasingly ready to report their quality measures. Though still very small percentages, physicians and those who run their practices are paying close attention to patient satisfaction.

According to Todd Evenson, vice president of consulting services and data solutions at MGMA, “They are realizing they have to report that (quality) information whether it is to commercial payers or the federal government. They are going to have to provide this information and be reviewed upon this information. Physicians understand that this is going to impact them in the future.”

It’s also highly recommended that people buying health insurance should insist on insurance contracts that give quality a bigger weight.

Forbes magazine, in its latest report notes that – more than half of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans are now enrolled in plans with ratings of four stars or more on a five-star scale, a ranking system created under the Affordable Care Act to guide seniors to cost-effective and higher quality benefits.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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