[MMA News Now, Oct. 10, 2013]
Physicians have until Oct. 15 to make decisions regarding Medicare's physician quality reporting system (PQRS) or possibly face a 1.5 percent cut on their 2015 Medicare payments.
To meet the 2013 requirements and avoid the 2015 penalties, physicians must participate in PQRS in 2013.There are several ways to participate and report for PQRS, including registries, CMS-calculated administrative claims or web interface. The final date for electing the administrative claims option is Oct. 15. Individuals or groups that elect the administrative claims option will avoid the 2015 penalty but cannot earn a bonus for 2013.
PQRS is also the foundation for Medicare's new value-based modifier (VBM). The ACA requires CMS to apply a VBM to some physicians’ Medicare payments by 2015 and to all payments by 2017. For 2015, the VBM will be applied only to practices with 100 or more PQRS-eligible professionals, which means that large groups must also take action by Oct. 15 to avoid an additional automatic 1 percent penalty associated with the VBM.
For groups of 100 or more eligible professionals who self-nominate and choose one of the three PQRS group reporting methods, the VBM will be zero (i.e., no impact on 2015 payments). Large groups that would like to participate in the quality tiering option under the VBM have until Oct. 15 to make that selection. The quality tiering option could result in positive or negative 2015 VBM adjustments based on the group's 2013 performance and whether it is statistically better, the same or worse than the national average.
Use of the PQRS requires an Individuals Authorized Access to the CMS Computer Services (IACS) number, which can be acquired at https://applications.cms.hhs.gov/. Additional information regarding registration and obtaining or modifying an IACS account is available at the Self Nomination/Registration
web page. If a practice experiences technical problems, such as an inoperable website, please contact Koryn Rubin
. Or call the PV-PQRS Help Desk at 1-888-734-6433, Option 3 for questions about registration. You can also contact CMS’ QualityNet help desk at: 1-866-288-8912 (TTY 1-877-715-6222).