Medical practices express continued frustration with PQRI program

Dissatisfaction linked to lack of interim feedback, 9 hours to access final reports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Feb. 17, 2010 – In new research released by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), medical practice leaders cited multiple, continued administrative challenges with reporting data for Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Specifically, respondents took issue with the unnecessarily arduous process for accessing feedback reports, and expressed little to no satisfaction with the feedback reports.

"Though MGMA and its members remain committed to supporting clinical quality improvement initiatives, data from this research shines a bright spotlight on the underlying administrative difficulties with this program," said MGMA President and CEO William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE. This is the second time MGMA has conducted research on member experiences with the PQRI.

MGMA research indicates that of responding practices that attempted to participate in the 2008 PQRI, fewer than half (48 percent) were able to successfully access their 2008 PQRI feedback report, a decline from the 51 percent that were able to retrieve their 2007 PQRI feedback report. The majority (60 percent) of the practices that accessed their 2008 feedback reports were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the report’s presentation of the information. An even larger majority (67 percent) were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the 2008 PQRI report’s effectiveness in providing guidance to improve patient care outcomes. Compared with the approximately five hours it took to access their 2007 PQRI feedback reports, on average it collectively took almost nine hours by all practice staff and physicians to successfully download the 2008 PQRI feedback reports.

"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," Jessee said.

"Similar to our earlier PQRI research, our members continue to express frustration over the unreasonable lag time between reporting PQRI data and receipt of the results," said Jessee.

MGMA maintains its longstanding position that for the PQRI to truly improve patient care, it should provide timely and actionable clinical information to physicians. MGMA calls on Congress and CMS to establish a much-needed PQRI appeals process and for the agency to be given needed resources so that it can provide participating providers with interim feedback.

MGMA conducted the research in January 2010, and data include feedback from 429 respondents representing 11,419 providers in medical practice.

Access the September 2008 MGMA member PQRI research 

About MGMA

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 22,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the health care services delivered in the United States.

MGMA's mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. MGMA promotes the group practice model as the optimal framework for health care delivery, assisting group practices in providing efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C.

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