Neurosurgical Performance in the First 2 Years of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System: A Descriptive Analysis and Predictors of Receiving Bonus Payments

Sean N. Neifert, Logan D. Cho, Jonathan S. Gal, Michael L. Martini, William H. Shuman, Emily K. Chapman, Michael Monterey, Eric K. Oermann, John M. Caridi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) program was implemented to tie Medicare reimbursements to value-based care measures. Neurosurgical performance in MIPS has not yet been described. OBJECTIVE: To characterize neurosurgical performance in the first 2 years of MIPS. METHODS: Publicly available data regarding MIPS performance for neurosurgeons in 2017 and 2018 were queried. Descriptive statistics about physician characteristics, MIPS performance, and ensuing payment adjustments were performed, and predictors of bonus payments were identified. RESULTS: There were 2811 physicians included in 2017 and 3147 in 2018. Median total MIPS scores (99.1 vs 90.4, P < .001) and quality scores (97.9 vs 88.5, P < .001) were higher in 2018 than in 2017. More neurosurgeons (2758, 87.6%) received bonus payments in 2018 than in 2017 (2013, 71.6%). Of the 2232 neurosurgeons with scores in both years, 1347 (60.4%) improved their score. Reporting through an alternative payment model (odds ratio [OR]: 32.3, 95% CI: 16.0-65.4; P < .001) and any practice size larger than 10 (ORs ranging from 2.37 to 10.2, all P < .001) were associated with receiving bonus payments. Increasing years in practice (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.982-0.998, P = .011) and having 25% to 49% (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.53-0.97; P = .029) or ≥50% (OR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.28-0.82; P = .007) of a physician's patients eligible for Medicaid were associated with lower rates of bonus payments. CONCLUSION: Neurosurgeons performed well in MIPS in 2017 and 2018, although the program may be biased against surgeons who practice in small groups or take care of socially disadvantaged patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

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