For group practices of two or more planning to participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for 2014, now is the time to decide whether the practice will report data on quality measures as a group or individually for each physician (and/or other eligible professionals [PDF]).
Group practices of two or more who so choose have until Sept. 30, 2014, to register for the group practice reporting option (GPRO). (Solo physicians and group practices that plan to report individually don't need to sign-up or register anywhere; they simply report PQRS data via one of the applicable reporting methods by the deadline.)
Why Participate in PQRS?
After eight years, the stakes are getting higher for not participating. Not only do you miss out on incentive payments for reporting quality measures, but also you are subject to the penalties.
It's too late to avoid the 2015 penalty, but you still can act for 2016. Physicians/groups who satisfactorily report PQRS data in 2014 will earn an incentive payment in 2016 of .5 percent of covered Medicare services; those who don't report will be subject to a 2-percent penalty.
Also in 2016, groups with 10 or more who submit claims to Medicare under a single tax ID number will be subject to a value modifier — a payment adjustment — based on their performance in the 2014 PQRS program year. Failing to report PQRS data will result in an additional 2-percent value modifier penalty.
Why Choose the Group Practice Reporting Option?
Participating as a group practice under GPRO has benefits:
- The practice may report one set of quality measures data on behalf of all physicians in the group (rather than having each report data individually).
- Reporting as a group has a potential for earning a larger incentive.
Here's how to get the most from GPRO
- Familiarize yourself with the various reporting method options (PDF) available under GPRO and their requirements; these differ based on the size of your group practice. You'll need to determine the best method for your practice before registering for GPRO because you'll be required to indicate your chosen method when your register.
- If reporting via a qualified registry, consider one of TMA's endorsed, qualified registries. PQRSwizard, and Covisint PQRS provide a simple and cost-effective way to collect and report quality measures data for the 2014 PQRS program year.
- Plan to report on quality measures encountered frequently in the practice, especially those the practice cares about most.
- For reporting physicians, be prepared to structure encounters to capture the necessary data in the patient's medical record.
Read the details about PQRS on the TMA website at www.texmed.org/pqrs. And, take advantage of TMA's new on-demand webinar on PQRS to find how to get on board with the program for 2014.
Published Aug. 12, 2014
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