Updated UHC Calculator Adds New Functionality and Latest CMS Value-Based Purchasing Measures

CHICAGO, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- UHC unveiled a fiscal year 2014 version of its online Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Calculator that incorporates two advanced functional enhancements as well as four measures recently added to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Value-Based Purchasing Program. UHC's VBP Calculator helps member hospitals assess their current performance, model future performance, forecast the impact on their future reimbursements, and identify areas that need improvement.

With the new functionality, qualifying hospitals can upload more recent performance data and toggle between those data and Hospital Compare data. In addition, a new graphic allows hospitals to easily compare their performance with national and UHC member averages.

Performance on the four new measures (one clinical process of care measure and three outcome measures) will begin affecting hospital reimbursements in October 2013, but the critical measurement period is already under way. CMS is evaluating performance on the new and existing measures and will use current data to determine the next fiscal year's reimbursement to each hospital.

UHC initially launched the VBP Calculator a year ago to prepare its members for VBP's potential impact on reimbursements. CMS recently implemented the VBP Program's payment adjustments for the initial set of measures, affecting discharges on or after October 1, 2012. The VBP Program can reduce hospitals' total Medicare base operating payments by up to 1% in the first year based on performance on those measures.

The VBP Calculator enables hospitals to compare their performance with national VBP averages, which CMS will use to determine Medicare payment reductions. The calculator also allows hospitals to test the financial impact of different performance scenarios. Originally, each of CMS' 12 clinical process of care measures and eight patient satisfaction measures received equal weight in scoring and reimbursement determinations; however, with the incorporation of the four new measures, the weighted distribution will change for fiscal year 2014. UHC's VBP Calculator can help members identify areas of opportunity before the measures go into effect in October 2013.

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

UHC offers a comprehensive package of resources to help members improve quality and patient satisfaction, enhance VBP scores, and maximize reimbursement. Available through UHC's Imperatives for Quality Program, these resources include benchmarking projects, improvement collaboratives, Web conferences, the Performance Improvement Tool Kit, and personalized guidance and assistance from UHC staff.

The VBP Calculator is free to UHC Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager™ subscribers and is compatible with the iPad and iPhone. In addition, UHC's Imperatives for Quality Report and Hospital Quality Measures Report will each have new VBP sections with drill-down data. UHC will continue to update the VBP Calculator and resources as CMS modifies its VBP requirements for 2014 and beyond. For more information on UHC Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager™, contact Mike Oinonen, senior director, at (312) 775-4284 or visit uhc.edu.     

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 116 academic medical center and 276 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 a majority of the nonprofit academic medical centers in the United States. For more information, visit uhc.edu.