MGMA: Practices still frustrated with PQRI program

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Medical practice leaders cited multiple, continued administrative challenges with reporting data for Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), according to a survey released Feb. 17 by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Specifically, survey respondents took issue with the unnecessarily arduous process for accessing feedback reports, and expressed little to no satisfaction with the feedback reports.

"Though MGMA and its members remain committed to supporting clinical quality improvement initiatives, data from this research shines a bright spotlight on the underlying administrative difficulties with this program," said MGMA President and CEO William F. Jessee, MD. This is the second time MGMA has conducted research on member experiences with the PQRI, which is in its fourth reporting year.

MGMA research indicated that of responding practices that attempted to participate in the 2008 PQRI, 48 percent were able to successfully access their 2008 PQRI feedback report, a decline from the 51 percent that were able to retrieve their 2007 PQRI feedback report.

Sixty percent of the practices that accessed their 2008 feedback reports were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the report’s presentation of the information, reported MGMA. Yet an even larger majority (67 percent) was dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the 2008 PQRI report’s effectiveness in providing guidance to improve patient care outcomes.

Compared with the approximately five hours it took to access their 2007 PQRI feedback reports, on average it collectively took almost nine hours by all practice staff and physicians to successfully download the 2008 PQRI feedback reports.

"Similar to our earlier PQRI research, our members continue to express frustration over the unreasonable lag time between reporting PQRI data and receipt of the results," said Jessee.

MGMA conducted the research in January, and data included feedback from 429 respondents representing 11,419 providers in medical practice.