As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has pushed relentlessly over the past decade to move toward value-based payment that rewards quality over quantity, a common refrain from clinicians has been that the quality measures and electronic medical record requirements have become painfully burdensome and complicated.
Now CMS Administrator Seema Verma is touting efforts to streamline quality measures and promote innovation. “How we define value and quality today is a problem,” Verma said at a conference in Arlington, Virginia. “We all know it: Clinicians and hospitals have to report an array of measures to different payers. There are many steps involved in submitting them, taking time away from patients. Moreover, it’s not clear whether all of these measures are actually improving care.”
Verma announced a new approach to quality measurement called “Meaningful Measures.” She wants to focus on the core issues that are most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.
The first step is rethinking the CMS Innovation Center, which has been responsible for developing rules around accountable care organizations and other alternative payment options. The agency said it plans to test innovative payment models for consumer-directed care, market-based innovation, physician specialties, prescription drugs, state-based programs, and Medicare Advantage.