MD groups struggle with Medicare incentive goals

It looks like the initial stages of a new CMS demonstration project have turned out to be something of a disappointment. In April 2005, CMS began offering annual bonuses to 10 physician groups if they met cost savings and quality targets. While all 10 implemented care-coordination programs during the first performance year, only two of the groups met CMS bonus criteria, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. However, that's not solely the groups' fault. The GAO report said that part of the reason physician groups had trouble meeting the goals was the design of the demonstration project, including the fact that CMS gave no feedback to the groups until after the third year had begun. Along the way, the GAO report suggested that it might be difficult to broaden enrollment in the demonstration project--even without design challenges--given that all of this round's participants were larger than the average medical group size for the United States.

To learn more about the demonstration project:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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