CMS pay-for-performance project saves $38.7M

As 10 medical groups concluded year four of the CMS physician group practice pay-for-performance demonstration project, the agency announced that the participants had saved $38.7 million in Medicare expenditures, Healthcare Finance News reports.

The physician groups achieved benchmark performance marks in 29 of the 32 measures reported, and every group met all benchmark measures for treating patients with congestive heart failure. Geisinger Clinic, Marshfield Clinic and Park Nicollet Health Services achieved benchmarks on all of the 32 measures.

As a result of this performance, CMS paid $31.7 million in performance payments to five physician groups. Geisinger, Marshfield, the Dartmouth-Hitchock Clinic, the University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice and St. John's Health System in Springfield, Mo. are among the recipients.

Of those payments, slightly more than half--$16.17 million--will go to Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic."The performance payment Marshfield Clinic receives will allow us to continue beneficial healthcare activities that are not currently reimbursed by most insurers right now," Dr. Theodore A. Praxel, Marshfield's medical director of quality improvement, told Healthcare Finance News.

To date, the project has realized $98 million in savings, and its participants have qualified for more than $78 million in incentive payments.

"Based on what we have learned so far, we know the healthcare industry can meet high standards for improving quality of care while saving Medicare money," said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick in a statement. "Now we want to raise the bar."

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the CMS press release