Using Physician Profiling Software to Evaluate the Practice Efficiency of Physician Specialists

How does examining the feasibility of using episode-based physician profiling systems help to evaluate the practice efficiency of physician specialists? The researchers completed a HCFO-funded study in which they evaluated the accuracy of seven primary care provider profiling methodologies and examined the implications of differences in accuracy for assessments of physician performance. In this project, the researchers focused on two of the seven methodologies which were episode-based, Episode Treatment Groups (ETGs) and the MEDecision Practice Review System (PRS), to examine 15 (10 medical and 5 surgical) specialties. The objective of the project was to determine whether the risk-adjustment methodologies used to generate reliable profiles in a primary care setting can be extended to specialists given the unique factors that arise in profiling specialty physicians.