New UHC Calculator Assesses Impact of CMS' VBP Program on AMC Reimbursements

Interactive tool helps AMCs focus on data-based performance improvement opportunities

CHICAGO, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- UHC announced its new, interactive online calculator that helps its member academic medical centers determine the potential impact on reimbursements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. The VBP program goes into effect in October 2012 and can reduce hospitals' total Medicare base operating payments by up to one percent in the first year.

UHC's VBP Calculator enables a member hospital to learn how their performance compares to national VBP metrics, which CMS will use to determine Medicare payment reductions. It also allows them to test different scenarios—and their effect on "holdback" and "earn back" rates and net financial impact—for each of the CMS' 12 clinical process of care (CPC) measures and eight patient satisfaction measures (HCAHPS).

"The detailed information provided through the calculator's drill-down capabilities will guide AMCs in identifying and prioritizing where they need to focus their performance improvement efforts," said David Levine, M.D., UHC associate vice president of informatics and medical director. "It also will help them quantify the potential impact of specific improvement initiatives."

"We're all paying close attention to VBP measures, and the UHC calculator takes currently available data and puts it in an attractive, easy to use format," said Dr. Gene Peterson, Associate Medical Director, University of Washington Medical Center. "It's a great tool for executive-level presentations and for our staff to do 'what-if' scenarios for different areas of performance."

"The VBP Calculator is evidence of UHC's progressive leadership in action to meet the needs of academic medical centers," said Dr. Charles Kilo, Chief Medical Officer, Oregon Health & Science University. "It's yet another reason why our relationship with UHC is so highly valued."

To support members' efforts, UHC also offers a comprehensive package of resources to help them improve quality and patient satisfaction, enhance VBP scores and maximize reimbursement revenues. Available through UHC's Imperatives for Quality (IQ) initiative, these include benchmarking projects, performance improvement collaboratives, Web conference presentations, the Performance Improvement Toolkit and personalized guidance and assistance from the IQ staff.  

The VBP Calculator is free to subscribers to UHC's Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager™ and is compatible with the Apple iPad and iPhone. In addition, UHC's IQ Report and Hospital Quality Measures Report will each have new VBP sections with drill-down data. UHC will update the tool and resources as CMS modifies its requirements.

About UHC

UHC is an alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers, which are focused on delivering world-class patient care. Based in Chicago, Ill., UHC fosters collaboration with and among its 114 academic medical center and 255 affiliated hospital members through its renowned programs and services in the areas of comparative data and analytics, performance improvement, supply chain management, strategic research, and public policy. UHC helps its members achieve excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Formed in 1984, UHC's membership includes more than 90% of the nonprofit academic medical centers in the US.  For more information, visit