Pay 4 Reporting Update
I had the opportunity last week to speak about meaningful use and pay for reporting at the FMC Medical Directors meeting in Dallas. I thought this week I would provide a quick update related to a couple of these areas.
During last week’s PQRS Registry call with CMS we learned that the 2010 e-prescribing incentive payments have been mailed. Those of you who successfully participated in 2010 should have your incentive by now. If you participated in 2010 but have not received an incentive payment there is a good chance you were not successful. The incentive schedule for the e-prescribing program is identified in the table below:
A hot topic at the meeting in Dallas was the 2012 e-prescribing penalty. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that the specifics of the penalty have been available for almost a year, there are still a large number of nephrologists who are unaware of the impending penalty. Earlier this month CMS added four additional hardship exemptions designed to reduce the number of providers that will be subject to the penalty in 2012. The window to attest for a hardship exemption for this penalty closes on November 1, 2011. The CMS portal to log an exemption can be found here.
During the CMS Registry call referenced above we learned the incentive checks for participating in the 2010 PQRI program are being mailed to successful participants this month. If you participated last year and have not been paid by early October you were most likely not successful. PQRI has a new name for 2011—the Physician Quality Reporting System. There have been some changes for 2011 which require our attention. The incentive schedule for PQRS is noted below:
The intersection of PQRS and e-prescribing with meaningful use remains a source of confusion. Most nephrologists who elect to demonstrate meaningful use will take the Medicare path. In this circumstance, the provider may also participate in the PQRS incentive program. However, if you demonstrate meaningful use via the Medicare path in 2011, you may not also collect the CMS e-prescribing incentive for 2011.
CMS continues to report success rates on a monthly basis. August was a busy month for meaningful use as the number of providers demonstrating meaningful use doubled. Over 72,000 providers have registered for the Medicare path of the program through the end of August with over 2,100 receiving the year 1 incentive to date. Nephrologists remain well represented among those paid for participation via the Medicare path through August as you can see in the table below:
There was quite a bit of engagement regarding these topics at the FMC Medical Directors meeting last week. In my experience nephrologists are becoming more fluent with these important CMS programs. However, the lack of awareness surrounding the 2012 e-prescribing penalty remains troubling to me. The window for applying for one of the hardship exemptions remains open for another 5 weeks. Please join me in spreading the word to our nephrology colleagues around the country.