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Supporting Clinicians Participating in the Medicare Quality Payment Program

By focusing on collaboration across government and the health care community, the Medicare Quality Payment Program is supporting clinicians in new and well received ways.

As we mark one month since the finalization of the new Quality Payment Program and six weeks until the first performance period opens, we are excited by the energetic and engaged response to this streamlined Medicare clinician payment system. With clinicians as partners, the Administration is building a system that delivers better care, one in which patients are at the center of their care and clinicians have the support and flexibility to deliver care in the way that works best for them, their practice, and their patients. 

The final Quality Payment Program’s design is the product of incredible collaboration – between the government and stakeholders, as well as across different components of the government – and is stronger as a result. During this process, the Administration heard loud and clear that clinicians want to focus on high-quality patient care and are looking for support and the tools to make this program work for them and their patients. To address those concerns, we engaged the support of a cross-functional team. The United States Digital Service (USDS), a start-up in The White House designed to bring modern technological practices to government, has been working with the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to integrate policy, operations, technology, and community input into a best practice service for the health community.

An outcome of this cross-functional approach is a new website to help clinicians and their teams navigate the Quality Payment Program. The website – – explains the program in plain language and contains a tool to help clinicians explore the measures and activities most meaningful to their practice. It’s the “one-stop shop” to support clinicians’ success with the new program, and we will add additional resources as the team continues to work with clinicians and their partners to identify and solve their most pressing needs.

We know that the program needs to be simple to use and understand so that clinicians can focus on what they do best – caring for our communities. This initial website is the beginning of a longer, more ambitious technical vision for the program. Over the coming years, we are planning on additional improvements, including:

  • Easier ways for clinicians and providers to submit quality data, which will make it easier to analyze that data and reduce burden on health care providers
  • A single, easy-to-use login (rather than the multiple log-ins currently required)
  • Open data via application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow health care providers to utilize tools and applications that turn the data into actionable insights they can use to improve the quality of care they provide to their patients. This week, CMS published the first in a series of open APIs to spur innovation and new tools for providers participating in the Quality Payment Program
  • Providing faster and more relevant feedback for providers through improved data submission and analytics.

We are already rapidly improving how clinicians and their partners interact with the Quality Payment Program compared to how they’ve interacted with CMS programs in the past. After visiting with health practitioners and seeing them shuffle through binders stuffed with quality measure printouts cobbled together from different sources, we’ve created an interactive tool that consolidates all measure and activity information into one easy to browse (and download) place. Making measures and activities easy to navigate is the first step in using technology to enable a low-burden, high-value program.

By combining the policy and health expertise of the White House and CMS with the technical expertise of USDS, the cross-functional team has been able to make significant and lasting changes to American health care – one of the President’s top priorities. We are heartened by the success of this approach for the Quality Payment Program and, in addition to continuing this collaboration as the Quality Payment Program evolves, will deploy this strategy to implement additional delivery system reform tests and models.       

Mina Hsiang is Executive director of the US Digital Service at HHS.
Erin Richardson is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Domestic Policy Council.