Posted in EHRs

Inadequate EHRs may be undermining provider Quality Payment Program efforts, survey shows

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
Inadequate EHRs may be undermining provider Quality Payment Program efforts, survey shows

Healthcare providers participating in MACRA’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) rely on their electronic health records (EHRs) for reporting data to demonstrate their adherence to value-based care.

But a new survey by analytics company SA Ignite and Porter Research shows that most providers aren’t confident that their EHRs are fully enabling quality reporting – which, if true, could prevent them from achieving QPP incentive goals.

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of survey respondents – comprising approximately 120 medical, quality, and operations executives and directors from large health systems and integrated delivery networks – said they intend to maximize payment incentives associated with QPP.

While virtually all respondents (97 percent) said EHRs or population health management (PHM) software are the main tools for meeting their reporting goals, 73 percent reported that their “system vendor does not offer a specific QPP management solution,” SA Ignite said.

Critical EHR/PHM functions related to QPP performance cited by survey respondents as areas of concern include:

  • Identifying all eligible clinicians
  • Pinpointing focus areas to increase scores
  • The ability to see overall MIPS score/estimated financial impact

"Significant gaps between what is important and what EHR and PHM vendors are providing should be no surprise," the survey report said. "These systems are not intended to manage clinician data and perform the type of program management and detailed analysis required to optimize performance in a value-based program; they are designed to manage patient care and analyze population outcomes."

The study also revealed “a lack of consistency across organizations as to which department manages the QPP,” with respondents listing quality, clinical, administrative, IT, and population health departments among the various managers of the program.

Created under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), the QPP is an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designed with the goal of improving health outcomes and aiding  the transition to value-based care. The vast majority of respondents (94 percent) said their organizations are actively participating in the QPP.