Measuring Provider Performance for Physicians Participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System
In 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring all eligible providers to participate in the Quality Payment Program or face financial reimbursement penalty. The Quality Payment Program outlines two paths for provider participation: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models. For the first performance period beginning in January of 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that approximately 83 to 90 percent of eligible providers will not qualify for participation in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model and therefore must participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System program. The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System path replaces existing quality-reporting programs and adds several new measures to evaluate providers using four categories of data: (1) quality, (2) cost/resource use, (3) improvement activities, and (4) advancing care information. These categories will be combined to calculate a weighted composite score for each provider or provider group. Composite Merit-Based Incentive Payment System scores based on 2017 performance data will be used to adjust reimbursed payment in 2019. In this article, the authors provide relevant background for understanding value-based provider performance measurement. The authors also discuss Merit-Based Incentive Payment System reporting requirements and scoring methodology to provide plastic surgeons with the necessary information to critically evaluate their own practice capabilities in the context of current performance metrics under the Quality Payment Program.