Providers striving for meaningful use of an EHR may be able to participate easily in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS—formerly PQRI) with just a little help from Primaris. Physicians may be unaware that several quality measures, including six preventative measures, are consistent between the meaningful use and PQRS programs, and some EHRs are capable of submitting data for both programs. The PQRS Incentive Program offers payments of 1.0 percent of allowable Medicare Part B Professional Fee Schedule charges in 2011 and 0.5 percent during 2012-2014. Furthermore, providers who do not report PQRS will face payment reductions of 1.5 percent beginning in 2015. Also, performance on quality measures will be publicly reported on the “Physician Compare” website beginning in 2013. All are good reasons to take PQRS seriously—now!
Primaris, a partner of the Missouri Health Information Technology (MO HIT) Assistance Center and Missouri’s Quality Improvement Organization, is offering onsite, individualized assistance with PQRS reporting at no charge to 100 Missouri providers, as part of an initiative funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To be eligible for this program, providers must be: (a) eligible for the PQRS Incentive Program, as defined by CMS; (b) willing to report at least three of six specific PQRS preventive care measures, including: influenza immunization, pneumonia vaccination, screening mammography, colorectal cancer screening, tobacco use-screening and cessation, and hypertension–blood pressure measurement; and (c) using an EHR that is “qualified” to submit PQRS data directly to CMS.
Only 28 EHRs are “qualified” to report PQRS directly to CMS in 2011, click here to view the entire list of qualified EHRs. Primaris assistance will include one-on-one services, such as enabling EHR functionality for PQRS reporting, identifying where and how to record data elements for each measure, establishing workflows for consistent data capture, developing routine reports to monitor performance, implementing a continuous quality improvement program, and sharing best practices and expertise from topic experts. Sandy Pogones, program manager for Primaris, says PQRS reporting using the EHR option is easier than reporting using the traditional “claims” option, as data only has to be submitted once to CMS following the close of the reporting period.
Primaris will also offer wide-scale assistance to eligible providers that do not have a qualified EHR, but wish to improve their performance on PQRS preventive measures as reported through claims. Services will include tools for accurate data capture, sharing of best practices for improving performance on the six measures, information and updates from CMS and vendors regarding PQRS reporting, and e-mail and telephone support.
Routinely measuring and reviewing care allows providers to identify potential issues, such as missing or inconsistent documentation, overdue prevention services, and missed revenue-producing opportunities. When public reporting begins in 2013, providers that are experienced with PQRS will be confident their reports reflect an accurate picture of their health care operation.
If you would like more information about Primaris’ free PQRS support, email Sandy Pogones at Primaris. For information on the Medicaid and Medicare EHR incentive programs, EHR adoption, or how the MO HIT Assistance Center helps health care providers adopt and achieve meaningful use of certified EHRs, please visit the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center Website, E-mail us, or call us toll-free 1-877-882-9933.