Several other parts of proposed regulations clarify how the algorithm will work. For example, hospitals will benefit not only if they have high scores, but also if they show improvement.
CMS proposes to use a linear improvement equation, so that each percentage of improvement will count the same. It had been suggested that some hospitals might get greater rewards if they improved from very low scores, or if they achieved improvement from almost perfect to perfect.
Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs for Premier healthcare alliance, said the rules "will evolve the Medicare payment system to reward improvements in quality and health outcomes."
Through its five-year Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration pilot project with CMS, Premier says, incentives like these "can achieve better outcomes for patients. In five years, participants in the HQID raised their overall quality by an average of 18.3%."
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposal may be viewed here.