MIPS: We’re All Losers

I can’t believe MIPS (Merit Based Incentives Payment System) still exists. Quality metrics continue to fail because there is no true way to define quality. Did you see the study where they used “time with patient” as a quality metric? No? That’s because it will never be done.

But back to MIPS. This just came out:

The agency said 97.6% of clinicians who participated in MIPS last year will receive a positive payment adjustment on each of their Medicare Part B claims in 2020, which is slightly higher than 2017 when 93.1% of clinicians got a bonus last year. At the same time, the number of participants in the program dropped from 1.06 million to 916,058.

Remember, getting these positive payments is a game. Why? Because the stupid thing is budget neutral:

Those who receive higher scores get a higher payment adjustment. However, it’s unlikely clinicians will see substantial bonuses next year because the program is budget neutral and therefore relies on the pool of penalties to dole out the bonuses, Drevna said. Just 1.95% of clinicians received a penalty. The CMS can penalize clinicians for up to 5% of their Medicare Part B payments.

I get it. Docs are stuck in the system and see no choice. But all this MIPS crap changes how you practice medicine. It is like teaching to the test. And do you believe it is helping patients more? MIPS is not why you became a doctor. Find a way to break free and practice authentic medicine again!

P.S. If you click the link you will see the stock picture they used from Getty Images. Yeah, like these MIPS doctors are writing on paper. Ha!