Factors that Predict Failure to Meet Merit-Based Incentive Payment System Quality Measures for Asymptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy

Anahita Dua, Steven Koprowski, Fadwa Ali, Sapan S. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services financially penalizes providers who fail to meet expected quality of care measures. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the factors that predict failure to meet PQRS measures for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Methods: PQRS measure 260 (discharge by postoperative day 2 following CEA in asymptomatic patients) and 346 (rate of postoperative stroke or death following CEA in asymptomatic patients) were evaluated using hospital records from the state of Florida from 2008 to 2012. The impact of demographics, comorbidities, hospital factors, admission variables, and individual practitioner data upon timely discharge, and postoperative stroke and death. Odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and significance (P < 0.05) were determined through the development of a logistic regression model. Surgeons were identified by national provider identifier number, and practitioner data obtained from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. Results: A total of 34,235 patient records and 701 providers were identified over the 5-year period. Significant negative predictors for PQRS measure 260 included weekend admission (odds ratio [OR], 2.9), Medicaid (OR, 2.4), surgeon historical postoperative stroke rate >2.0% (OR, 1.7), African-American race (OR, 2.0), and female gender (OR, 1.3). The presence of any of these factors was associated with a 13.5% rate of failure. The most significant negative predictor for PQRS measure 346 was surgeon postoperative stroke rate >2.0% (OR, 6.2 for stroke and OR, 29.0 for death). Surgeons in this underperforming group had worse outcomes compared to their peers despite having patients with fewer risk factors for poor outcomes. Surgeon specialty, board certification, and case volume do not impact either PQRS measures. Conclusions: Selected groups of patients and surgeons with a disproportionately high rate of postoperative stroke are at risk of failing to meet PQRS pay for performance quality measures. Awareness of these risk factors may help mitigate and minimize the risk of adversely impacting the value stream. Further evaluation of the causative factors that lead to surgeon underperformance could help to improve the quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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