Legislation to Limit and Align Quality Measures Introduced in St. Paul

The MMA has crafted legislation to limit the number of quality measures for clinics and to require the state’s quality measures included in the Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) to align with the Medicare required measures. 

The bills, (HF1517/SF1340) were introduced on Feb. 22 and 23 by Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) and by Sen. Scott Jensen, MD, (R-Chaska). Jensen is one of two physicians in the Legislature. 

“The administrative cost associated with collecting and reporting data is an increasingly demanding burden,” said MMA President David Agerter, MD. Aligning quality measures is one of the MMA’s top legislative priorities this session. 

Currently, the health department contracts with MN Community Measurement to manage specific SQRMS functions, including measure refinement and development; data collection and validation; and data analysis. There are 19 SQRMS measures that apply to physician practices.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) establishes new quality reporting and performance requirements as a condition of Medicare physician payment. Physician practices participate in the new payment system via two primary paths – the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or through alternative payment models (APMs). Most physicians will be subject to MIPS. The MIPS system requires most physician practices to submit data on six quality measures. There are 271 MIPS measures from which physician practices can select.

Only three of the 19 SQRMS measures overlap with the measures that can be reported to Medicare (MIPS), and even the reporting timelines differ somewhat. The proposed legislation would limit the number of SQRMS measures to six (for single specialty practices) or 10 (for multispecialty practices). In addition, all SQRMS measures would need to be selected from the 271 MIPS measures to allow common data collection and measurement across federal and state programs.