Nephrologist Performance in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

TitleNephrologist Performance in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsTummalapalli SLekha, Mendu ML, Struthers SA, White DL, Bieber SD, Weiner DE, Ibrahim SA
JournalKidney Med
Date Published2021 Sep-Oct

RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE: The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is the largest quality payment program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Little is known about predictors of nephrologist performance in MIPS.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis.

SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Nephrologists participating in MIPS in performance year 2018.

PREDICTORS: Nephrologist characteristics: (1) participation type (individual, group, or MIPS alternative payment model [APM]), (2) practice size, (3) practice setting (rural, Health Professional Shortage Area [HPSA], or hospital based), and (4) geography (Census Division).

OUTCOMES: MIPS Final, Quality, Promoting Interoperability, Improvement Activities, and Cost scores. Using published consensus ratings, we also examined the validity of MIPS Quality measures selected by nephrologists.

ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Unadjusted and multivariable-adjusted linear regression models assessing the associations between nephrologist characteristics and MIPS Final scores.

RESULTS: Among 6,117 nephrologists participating in MIPS in 2018, the median MIPS Final score was 100 (interquartile range, 94-100). In multivariable-adjusted analyses, MIPS APM participation was associated with a 12.5-point (95% CI, 10.6-14.4) higher score compared with individual participation. Nephrologists in large (355-4,294 members) and medium (15-354 members) practices scored higher than those in small practices (1-14 members). In analyses adjusted for practice size, practice setting, and geography, among individual and group participants, HPSA nephrologists scored 1.9 (95% CI, -3.6 to -0.1) points lower than non-HPSA nephrologists, and hospital-based nephrologists scored 6.0 (95% CI, -8.3 to -3.7) points lower than non-hospital-based nephrologists. The most frequently reported quality measures by individual and group participants had medium to high validity and were relevant to nephrology care, whereas MIPS APM measures had little relevance to nephrology.

LIMITATIONS: Lack of adjustment for patient characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS: MIPS APM participation, larger practice size, non-HPSA setting, and non-hospital-based setting were associated with higher MIPS scores among nephrologists. Our results inform strategies to improve MIPS program design and generate meaningful distinctions between practices that will drive improvements in care.

Alternate JournalKidney Med
PubMed ID34693261
PubMed Central IDPMC8515074
Grant ListF32 DK122627 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
Healthcare Delivery Science & Innovation
Faculty Publication