Revenue Cycle Management Blog | GroupOne Health Source

Is Your Brand at Risk? How MIPS Can Impact Physician Brand

Written by Jeff Jones, CPHP | February 23, 2016

In our previous blog post, How MIPS Affects Physician Reimbursement, we introduced the topic of how MIPS will highlight a clinician’s brand and could possibly affect the amount of patients a clinician sees. This blog post dives deeper into this concept and explores what you can do to begin attacking MIPS now in order to establish a positive brand and start accepting new patients.

What Is a Physician’s Brand?

Whether physicians realize it or not they have been creating a brand every day they’ve been practicing medicine. A physician’s brand is their identifying mark. 

A physicians brand is made up of the satisfaction level of their patients. It is the results delivered to patients and should be something physicians are proud of and boast about to get more patients in the door. But how can patients determine a physician’s brand?

Typically, patients make decisions on which physicians to see based on past treatments or recommendations from other physicians or family members, but hardly ever use consumerism techniques in order to select a physician. Currently, a physician’s brand isn’t somethings spoken of often or even sought after. So many physicians might wonder if this brand they’ve developed even impacts the number of patients they see.

Branding Meets MIPS

With MIPS these physicians will have to wonder no longer. MIPS scores for all eligible clinicians are going to be reported on the CMS Physician Compare consumer website. Meaning each eligible clinician’s MIPS score and individual category scores will be available for public consumption.

The website will also include the scores of all eligible clinicians across the country. So not only will patients be able to view the score of their current clinician on a 0 to 100 scale, but they will also be able to compare their current clinician’s score and category scores to other clinicians in the area and around the country.

How Things Change

MIPS is not just going to assess clinicians incentive payments and penalties on their reimbursements, it is also putting clinicians’ reputations and future clientele on the line.

Healthcare consumers are becoming more choice oriented, and with tools such as these in place, consumers will become more and more likely to utilize them to aid in their healthcare choices. The reputational and consumer-choice impacts on clinicians could quite possibly overshadow the direct financial impacts of MIPS incentives or penalties. Thus, another reason why MIPS-eligible clinicians must roll up their sleeves and dig into the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

What Can You Do Now?

The best thing MIPS-eligible clinicians can do now is to go to qpp.cms.gov and begin to learn about the Quality Payment Program (QPP). There, you’ll find information about both paths under the QPP (MIPS and Advanced APMs) as well as information for how to participate.

Once you are brushed up on the program it will be necessary to select whether you want to participate for a full year, participate for a part of the year, or simply test the program. You will also need to select measures in each of the three categories (Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Clinical Practice Improvement Activities) that align with your practice and create a plan to implement them. It should be noted that if you do absolutely nothing, you will be handed a -4% penalty.