Objective: The purpose of this study is to describe a reimbursement model that was developed by one health maintenance organization (HMO) to transition from fee-for-service to add a combination of pay for performance and reporting model of reimbursement for chiropractic care.
Methods: The previous incentive program used by the HMO provided best-practice education and additional reimbursement incentives for achieving the National Committee for Quality Assurance Back Pain Recognition Program (NCQA-BPRP) recognition status. However, this model had not leveled costs between doctors of chiropractic (DCs). Therefore, the HMO management aimed to develop a reimbursement model to incentivize providers to embrace existing best-practice models and report existing quality metrics. The development goals included the following: it should (1) be as financially predictable as the previous system, (2) cost no more on a per-member basis, (3) meet the coverage needs of its members, and (4) be able to be operationalized. The model should also reward DCs who embraced best practices with compensation, not simply tied to providing more procedures, the new program needed to (1) cause little or no disruption in current billing, (2) be grounded achievable and defined expectations for improvement in quality, and (3) be voluntary, without being unduly punitive, should the DC choose not to participate in the program.
Results: The generated model was named the Comprehensive Chiropractic Quality Reimbursement Methodology (CCQRM; pronounced “Quorum”). In this hybrid model, additional reimbursement, beyond pay-for-procedures will be based on unique payment interpretations reporting selected, existing Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) codes, meaningful use of electronic health records, and achieving NCQA-BPRP recognition. This model aims to compensate providers using pay-for-performance, pay-for-quality reporting, pay-for-procedure methods.
Conclusion: The CCQRM reimbursement model was developed to address the current needs of one HMO that aims to transition from fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance and quality reporting for reimbursement for chiropractic care. This model is theoretically based on the combination of a fee-for-service payment, pay for participation (NCQA Back Pain Recognition Program payment), meaningful use of electronic health record payment, and pay for reporting (PQRS-BPMG payment). Evaluation of this model needs to be implemented to determine if it will achieve its intended goals.
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