The data-collection infrastructure that has been proposed to make performance-based Medicare payments possible is a major undertaking, said Dr. Denneny, and any such mandates must be adequately funded.
Explore this issue:August 2013
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), now law, authorizes $75 million over five years “for the development of quality measures at AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and another $20 million “to support the endorsement and use of endorsed quality and efficiency measures by the HHS Secretary for use in Medicare, reporting performance information to the public, and in health care programs,” according to a section-by- section analysis of the law by the Senate’s Democratic Policy and Communications Center. But at press time, those funds had not been appropriated by Congress.
Funding the provisions already included under the ACA would help ease physician worry on this issue, said Dr. Denneny. “It could cost $1 million to $3 million just to set up a registry, and that doesn’t even include the quality measures that have to be done,” he added. “In transitioning to the performance-based system that will be benefitting the country and benefitting patients, we should share the costs. Given the investment we’re going have to make, we’re interested that there’s federal help in the cost of that, and one way to do that is to allocate the funds that were agreed upon.”