MIPS Quality Scores Are Now Public

It seems like an eternity that we’ve been writing about government regulations like Meaningful Use, HITECH, MIPS, MACRA, and a bunch of other abbreviations that many would like to forget, but can’t because they’re still a part of many organizations’ daily lives.

In all the time we’ve been writing about it, we’ve often echoed our friend Jim Tate from EHR Advocate’s take that the MIPS Scores are going to be made public and it’s likely going to have an impact on your practice.

Well, that has come to a reality. All of the MIPS 2017 scores are now publicly available to anyone who wants to know how well you and/or your practice did. In fact, my friend Joy Rios who literally wrote the book on MIPS and her partner Robin Roberts at Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting have published all of the MIPS scores in an easily searchable format. Check out their MIPS tool here. Shoutout to Tableau for powering their tool.

Their tool is quite easy. You just search for the name of the doctor you’d like to look up. Click Apply and it will pull up any doctors with that name. You can also search by NPI number if you have that number available. If you want to search by group instead of an individual, that option is available as well. I also love that the tool will show you the national averages for each of the MIPS scores so you can see how a doctor you’ve looked up is doing against the national average. Now that we have all the data, we can take a look at where the national average fell and what that could mean for future MIPS scoring.

I just took a quick look at some of the major physician review sites like Vitals, ZocDoc, and HealthGrades and it seems like none of them have added these “quality” scores to their websites yet. I say yet since I’ll be pretty shocked if none of them do it. If I were in their shoes, I’d love to publish a “quality” score for the doctors people are evaluating. We’ve discussed why that does a disservice to patients since we all know MIPS isn’t a real measure of the quality of a doctor, but what’s to keep them using the MIPS Quality score that way anyway?

The only thing that might be holding these organizations back from implementing it is that they all have a ton of information on every doctor already. In fact, I hadn’t looked at those sites for a while and I’m shocked with how much information they have on each doctor. The UI guy in me thinks they’re showing too much information, but maybe having all the information is good for SEO, but I digress.

It’s also worth noting that this MIPS lookup tool is for MIPS scores in 2017. Only took them a couple years to make the scores available. I’m not sure all of the reasoning behind waiting to release the scores, but that seems like a long time to wait for this information. One might even ask if 2017 MIPS data is valuable in the middle of 2019.

What do you think of these scores? How would you use them? Is it good that they’re being published for everyone to see? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments and on Twitter with @HealthcareScene.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

2 Comments

  • John, thanks for sharing. I agree that third parties will increasingly use publicly-released information from CMS about physician performance, and MIPS is no exception. Recently, our provider-organization customers have increasing interest in knowing what the historical MIPS scores are of physicians they are interviewing or on-boarding, as those scores determine what Medicare Part B payment adjustments for those physicians will be inherited by those organizations. As the financial impact of MIPS continues to increase, the importance of the score will increase. With private payers such as United HC now touting the concept of “high value physicians”, it would not be surprising if these payers eventually follow suit in applying “portable” ratings tied to clinicians which impact their reimbursement ultimately no matter which payers they contract with or which organizations they serve at. The large cost and quality differentials across clinicians create a strong case for this.

  • Great point Tom that I hadn’t thought about. As more and more doctors are employed, organizations that employ doctors could use the score to decide which doctors to hire, which ones to pay more, etc. Plus, the idea of payers using it as well is something to really consider. So many unseen issues for those who have opted out.

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