Relatively few physicians will receive Medicare pay-for-performance bonuses under Medicare’s value-based modifier program in 2018.

The question now is whether this is because of uninspiring performance or indifference to the program.

Of the approximately 1.1 million clinicians who participate in Medicare, only two percent – 22,000 – will receive pay increases in 2018 based on their 2016 performance.  Those raises will range from 6.6 percent to 19.9 percent.

Most doctors will receive neither bonuses nor penalties.

And roughly 300,000 failed to submit the data required by the program.  In the past they would have been penalized for this failure but that penalty was eliminated for what is now the final year of the program.

Medicare now moves to a new merit-based incentive payment system – and this program, even though it is just beginning, has already been targeted for elimination by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.  MedPAC recommended eliminating the new program, known as MIPS, at its meeting earlier this month.

Learn more about physician performance under the value-based modifier program from this CMS fact sheet.