For now, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is a voluntary program that pays bonuses to physicians and others who collect and report data on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-approved quality measures in treating Medicare Part B patients.
But in 2015, the bonuses become penalties if you are not on board. So it is worth your while to start participation in PQRS now. Incentive payments vary by year, but CMS reports that 2009 bonuses averaged $1,956 per eligible professional.
Participation in PQRS does not have to be complicated. TMA encourages physicians who have adopted an electronic health record (EHR) to check with their vendor to see if their system is capable of reporting PQRS data. This route saves practice resources because it often is a free service and does not require staff time to review charts and to reenter patient information.
For physicians who have not adopted an EHR, TMA recommends use of a registry program. Reporting via registry simplifies the process and allows the doctor to report on as few as 30 patients. Some practices report it took only three hours to input data into their PQRS registry. CMS has stated that registry reporting is 40-45 percent more effective in obtaining incentive payments than claims reporting.
TMA endorses two online tools that provide a simple and cost-effective way to report quality measures data:
Each system will guide you through four easy steps:
- Select your measures.
- Enter clinical data for 30 unique Medicare Part B patients.
- Review and submit using the online application.
For details about how to participate, visit the TMA website at www.texmed.org/pqrs.
Confused by all the deadlines and compliance dates coming at you over the next few year? TMA’s Calendar of Doom gives the big-picture view of upcoming state and federal compliance timelines — including PQRS reporting dates — and key health policy issues that impact Texas physicians.
Published Oct. 24, 2011
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