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March 2, 2016

AMGA Provides Comments on CMS Draft Quality Measurement Development Plan

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) today urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure clear guidance of providers’ responsibilities, retain choice in quality measurement reporting, and account for the variety of patient characteristics when measuring and rewarding quality performance.  In comments on CMS’ Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP), AMGA addressed a number of issues in quality measurement, including measurement reporting, measurement choice, and rewarding quality of care.

“AMGA members are leaders in providing the type of integrated, team-based care that CMS would like to see across the healthcare system,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “In moving towards a system that rewards value, it is important that CMS develop a framework that appropriately measures quality of care without being unduly burdensome to the provider community.  AMGA’s comments today provide insight on how CMS can achieve this goal.”

AMGA recognizes and appreciates the need to harmonize quality measure sets.  However, no measure set is applicable across all practice settings.  Providers should be given the option to develop and report evidence-based measures.  This would foster provider engagement and allow for more timely performance feedback.

AMGA encouraged CMS to provide clarity on when quality will be measured at the individual or group practice level.  CMS has indicated that it intends to hold individual clinicians and group practices accountable for quality performance.  It is important that CMS define what services and procedures will be measured at the group level and which will be addressed at the individual or eligible professional level.  AMGA is concerned that absent clear guidance, CMS will undermine efforts to provide team-based care.

AMGA also expressed to CMS that patients and patient populations can vary considerably because of demographic and socio-economic factors.  To account for this, AMGA recommended that CMS base quality performance and rewards on the attaining higher measure levels or year-over-year improvement scores.  This would help equalize the quality performance measurement system for providers who care for non-comparable patient populations.

Read AMGA’s full comments on the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan.

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems. AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care. AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. Approximately 177,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 133 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.