CMS Announces Group Practice Reporting Option for PQRS

Group practices of eligible professionals (EPs) wanting to receive incentives through the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) now have the ability to sign up using the group practice reporting option (GPRO) and avoid payment adjustments in 2016, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The 2014 reporting period runs from January 1 to December 31 and group practices have until September 30 (i.e., tomorrow) to register via the Physician Value (PV)-PQRS Registration System using a valid IACS User ID.

As CMS explained in an announcement last Friday, participation in calendar year 2014 is the basis for assessing group practices with payment adjustments in CY 2016:

CMS also described how the Value Modifier would affect EPs choosing to report individually and group practices of between ten and a hundred EPs:

To earn an incentive for the 2014 PQRS program year and avoid 2016 payment adjustments, group practices with two or more EPs can register to participate as part of GPRO in one of three ways:

Group practices with 25 or more EPs can use either a web interface — which is required on group practices with more than 100 EPs) — or CAHPS Clinician & Group Surveys (CG-CAHPS) via a CMS-certified survey vendor.

The honeymoon for quality reporting incentive programs is approaching its end as the PQRS as well as the EHR Incentive Program for Medicare is each about to enter the phase of the program where financial penalties take the place of rewards. The question that remains is whether the payment adjustments are significant enough to goad healthcare organizations and providers into absorbing the costs of EHR and health IT systems to meet the requirements of these various programs.

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