Skip to main content

Specialty Physicians Raise Concerns Over Value Based Payment Modifier

Last week, The Alliance of Specialty Medicine (a coalition of 13 physician specialty societies) issued a statement on provisions specific to the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM) as described in the recently released Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule.  While the Alliance recognized that implementation of the VBPM is challenging for CMS, this and other CMS quality reporting programs pose unique and significant challenges to specialty physicians, diverting time and resources away from direct patient care.

Alliance spokesman (and Neurosurgery’s very own) Alex Valadka, MD, a neurosurgeon from Austin, TX touched on some key concerns involving the implementation of the VBPM.  He said,

“There are some changes for the better in the final rule when it comes to the payment modifier. However, many specialty practices are already juggling with current conflicting and overlapping quality reporting mandates. VBPM is still in danger of being rushed onto physicians who may not have the resources or experience needed to comply. CMS is telling physicians to be up and running on VBPM in four short years, yet we still have no clear pathway ahead on any sort of reform in Medicare SGR reimbursement, and we are facing more financial upheaval with sequestration and IPAB cuts looming in the future and electronic health records and meaningful use payments. It strikes physicians as more than a little lopsided.”

The bottom line is neurosurgeons are committed to providing timely, compassionate, high quality and state of the art treatment for all patients.  That said, the last thing we want to do is to cut our nose off to spite our face by diverting time and resources away from direct patient care as a result of VBPM quality reporting requirements.

Leave a Reply