Dermatologists view MIPS with trepidation

June 24, 2016

MIPS will replace the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and CMS will adjust Medicare payments to most physicians either up or down by as much as 9% depending on how well they score in four performance categories. One expert shares insight based on a recent article published in JAMA Forum.

Physicians are anticipating the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) system with trepidation.

Robert A. Berenson, M.D., a fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., recently authored an article in JAMA Forum that was critical of the legislation’s focus on doctors’ performance on what he calls a few, random, unreliable measures that he says give a misleading view of a physician’s work.

In this interview with Medical Economics, Dr. Berenson elaborates on his views regarding MIPS.

Dermatologist, Helen M. Torok, M.D., medical director of Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery in Medina, Ohio, has mixed feelings.

Dr. TorokOn one hand, she is glad to see merit-based reimbursement, and she wishes it had been implemented long ago.

"I welcome any opportunity to increase reimbursement," she says. "We all have concerns whenever there are new practice measures imposed on our lives. However, if I can increase my reimbursement by not only by 9% but even up to 27%, then I would do everything I possibly can to achieve this."

However, Dr. Torok also notes that much is unclear about how the new reimbursement system will work.

“We don’t know the full extent of the process," she says, "so it remains to be seen how much time it will take away from our clinical time."

And the existing Physician Quality Reporting System, she says, has been a mess. "The way it is set up doesn’t make sense, especially for dermatolo- gists," she says. "It is time to stop being pushed, prodded, dictated to, bullied and harassed. I don’t know of any other profession that is so tightly controlled, monitored, censored, dissected and dictated to."