MGMA Press Room
MGMA members frustrated with PQRI burdens, lack of feedback
Reports, delays confound practice managers
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 8, 2008 – Medical practice leaders nationwide voiced their frustration with Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), citing the lack of data for improving patient outcomes, the administrative burden of participation, the difficulty accessing and downloading the 2007 feedback reports, and the delay from the time data were submitted to the time reports were available. These findings come from the first research released on physician practice experiences with the PQRI.
"While MGMA and its members support initiatives that help physicians provide high-quality patient care, these data highlight the fundamental problems with this program," said MGMA President and CEO William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE. "We implore CMS [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to heed our members' feedback and make necessary changes."
Of the practices able to obtain their PQRI reports, 69.8 percent reported "low" or "no" satisfaction with the document's guidance in improving patient care outcomes. An overwhelming percentage (92.9 percent) of respondents reported difficulty accessing their reports. On average, respondent practices spent five hours downloading their final 2007 PQRI feedback reports from the CMS Web site. In addition, 63.0 percent of respondents reported difficulty capturing and submitting data.
"Members tell us that their frustrations also stem from the 18-month lag time between their initial reporting and receipt of the results," said Jessee. "To truly improve patient care, programs such as PQRI must provide timely, actionable clinical information to physicians. Our data show the program has penalized practices trying to do the right thing for their patients by wrapping them in red tape. MGMA calls on CMS to implement efficient reporting mechanisms for group practices – such as statistical sampling – as authorized in the recently passed Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008."
MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA's 21,500 members lead 13,500 organizations nationwide in which some 270,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the health care services delivered in the United States.