Lawmakers Mull SGR Options

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 8, 2013

Health Partners participates in an alternative payment model and in its market. Courneya noted that solo practitioners are among the top performers in clinical quality.

Physician burden
"I don't want to heap another round of quality indicators, paperwork, and bureaucracy on physicians," stated Rep. Brady. He asked Courneya if Health Partners focuses on key indicators or a laundry list.

"We try to [focus on key indicators]," Courneya replied. He credits providers with holding Health Partners and other payers in the market accountable to agreed upon measures and not creating "the confusion that can occur when Health Partners and the other health plans in our market each have little variations" on the same quality measures.

"We have agreed as a market on things like comprehensive diabetes measures and we're actually achieving the goals and clinical targets," Courneya added.

Quality measures
Panelist voiced their support for basing Medicare payments on quality measures.

Of course, "getting those measurements right is very important," noted Rep. Brady. The NQF made a pitch to centralize the process with one central hub of measure and review—similar to what's already in place at the NQF.

Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, vice chair of NQF's consensus standards approval committee, notes that NQF stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, health professionals, and health plans "are concerned that establishing a separate process will simply result in more cost and redundancy."

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