Earlier this year, CMS announced that the documentation threshold to participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) decreased from 80% to 50%. What this means in practice is that a radiology group could start their PQRS documentation as late as July 1st and still be eligible to receive the entire 1% Medicare incentive payment for 2011. In order to receive an incentive payment, each provider must report on at least three PQRS quality measures; the 50% threshold must be met for each of the three measures.
CMS also announced that an incentive payment of 0.5% will be paid for PQRS participation for the calendar years 2012 through 2014. However, in 2015 and 2016, penalties will be assessed for non-participation of 1.5% and 2.0%, respectively. These incentive payments (and subsequent penalties) are applied to all Medicare payments, not just the Medicare payments associated with the PQRS measures.
The impending penalties, coupled with the increased radiology measure selection, make 2011 an ideal time for radiology groups to begin participation in this program. Further, the documentation requirements for many of the measures can be met with minimal or even no extra effort by the radiologists.
For more information on the PQRS program and the radiology measures that apply to your group, please contact Wendy Driscoll at ADVOCATE, 614-210-1885 extension 239.
With best regards,
Wendy Driscoll, MBA