The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases the 2013 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Electronic Prescribing (e-prescribing) Incentive Program Experience Report, providing data and trends on participation, incentive eligibility, incentive payments and payment adjustments since the beginning of the programs.
The 2013 report found that there was an increase in participation from eligible professionals and in reporting clinical quality information for both PQRS and the e-prescribing Incentive Program, reflecting both increased use of electronic prescribing as well as increased tracking and reporting of important quality information. The report also indicates progress in CMS’ efforts to improve quality measurements, and to encourage building a national electronic health information infrastructure in the United States.
Report highlights include:
- Participation in the PQRS program increased by 47 percent from 2012 to 2013.
In 2013, 641,654 eligible professionals participated either as individuals or as part of PQRS group practices, through at least one reporting mechanism, a 47 percent increase from the 435,931 who participated in 2012. Approximately 51 percent of the 1.25 million professionals who were eligible to participate in 2013 participated in PQRS. The 2013 PQRS incentive payments totaled $214,551,741.
- 469,755 eligible professionals were subject to a 2015 PQRS negative payment adjustment. Based on 2013 PQRS reporting, 469,755 eligible professionals are subject to a reduction of 1.5 percent of their 2015 Part B Medicare Physician Fee Schedule allowed charges. Of those professionals subject to the adjustment, 98 percent did not attempt to participate in PQRS. In addition, 43 percent of the professionals subject to the payment adjustment treat 25 or fewer Medicare beneficiaries a year.
- 2013 participation in the e-prescribing program rose by 9 percent from 2012.
In the final year of reporting under the e-prescribing Incentive Program, 377,004 eligible professionals participated, a 9 percent increase from the 344,676 who participated in 2012. Approximately 47 percent of the 808,697 professionals who were eligible participated in 2013. The 2013 eRx incentive payments totaled $168,298,019.
The PQRS program began in 2007. It initially used incentive payments to encourage participation. Beginning in 2015, based on 2013 reporting, negative payment adjustments were implemented as required by statute, which encourages eligible health care professionals to report on designated quality measures. The e-prescribing Incentive Program used a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to encourage electronic prescribing by eligible professionals; 2013 was the last year of the program but electronic prescribing continues with meaningful use.
For more information about PQRS, including the criteria for reporting to avoid the negative payment adjustment, which started in 2015, visit www.cms.gov/PQRS.