MGMA: PQRI doesn't give proper guidance on care improvement

The general consensus among physician practices is that the Medicare Physician Office Quality Initiative (PQRI) doesn't provide proper guidance to improve care outcomes, according to a new study from the Medical Group Management Association. Practices also expressed difficulty accessing feedback reports--and for the 48 percent of survey respondents that were able to retrieve their 2008 reports, most didn't much care for how CMS presented the information.

According to MGMA, it took an average of almost nine hours of valuable staff and physician time to download 2008 feedback reports, nearly twice as long as it did to retrieve reports for 2007. MGMA has said that PQRI won't produce noticeable improvements in patient care until the program is able to provide timely, actionable information.

"[D]ata from this research shines a bright spotlight on the underlying administrative difficulties with this program," MGMA CEO Dr. William F. Jessee says in a written statement. "With the PQRI now in the fourth reporting year and Congress contemplating modifications to the program in healthcare reform legislation, MGMA strongly urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] and Congress to take note of our members' feedback and implement much needed improvements."

The organization also wants CMS to set up a PQRI appeals process and for Congress to give the agency "needed resources" so participating practices can get interim feedback on their actions.

For more information:
- read this post on the Medicare Update blog
- download the MGMA report (.pdf)
- download a list of comments from survey respondents (.pdf)