- Nearly half of the group practices responding to a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey said they spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician every year to comply with federal regulations.
- The practices rated the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) as most burdensome, followed by lack of electronic attachments for claims and prior authorization; audits and appeals; lack of EHR interoperability; and payer use of virtual credit cards.
- MGMA said the main themes from the survey were regulatory and administrative burdens drawing resources from patient care; the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is too complex and doesn’t give practices enough clinical benefit; and practices are increasingly dependent on third-party vendors that are not held to the same rules and mandates.
Healthcare leaders and physicians looking to loosen regulation requirements will certainly find a friendly ear in the current HHS. The CMS in June released a request for information asking for comments on reducing regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act, and has made examining and perhaps eliminating some regulations a priority.
The practices MGMA surveyed had particularly unfavorable opinions of MIPS, with 73% of them saying it “does not support our practice’s clinical quality priorities” and the same percentage rating it as either “very” or “extremely” complex. More than 40% said they are reporting the full set of MIPS data, about 30% are reporting some data and 20% are reporting the minimum required to avoid a penalty.
One respondent said: “The resources it will take to comply with MIPS are absurd, and the only thing the program measures is the ability to meet documentation requirements.”
The CMS is aware of concerns surrounding the QPP and has worked to ease the transition from the sustainable growth rate. In June, the agency proposed exempting more small providers and stated it will continue to focus on greater flexibility.
MGMA surveyed 750 group practices with between and six and 20 physicians last month. This is the first survey the organization has performed on overall regulatory burden. With a receptive audience in the current administration, it plans to continue the practice.