Advances in Skin & Wound Care:
Departments: Practice Points
Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, is Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Net Health. Ms Hess presides over Professional Services, which offers products and solutions to optimize process and work flows. Address correspondence to Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last month’s column, Quality Measures and Meaningful Use, we discussed how the Centers for Medicare “ Medicaid Services (CMS) has aligned quality reporting programs, including the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Collecting this level of documentation for CMS, from a specialty outpatient wound care department, ultimately allows CMS to review the quality metrics reported, thereby improving the quality of life of patients living with chronic wounds.
Physician Quality Reporting System
Let’s review PQRS reporting. The PQRS is a CMS program that uses a combination of incentive payments and adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by eligible professionals (EPs). Specifically, the reported data focus on quality measures for covered Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services furnished to Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service beneficiaries. The EPs who do not participate in PQRS reporting in 2014 will face negative payment adjustments beginning in 2016. Both EPs and group practices receiving a PQRS payment adjustment in 2016 will be paid 2.0% less than the PFS amount for services rendered from January 1 to December 31, 2016 (or receive 98% of his/her allowed Medicare Part B PFS amount for covered professional services that would otherwise apply to such services). The reporting period for the 2016 PQRS payment adjustment is the 2014 program year. There are step-by-step instructions outlined by CMS in Getting Started with the PQRS1:
Determine if you are eligible to participate for purposes of the PQRS incentive payment and payment adjustment. A list of eligible medical care professionals considered eligible to participate in PQRS is available through the CMS website. Read this list carefully, as not all entities are considered “eligible professionals” because they are reimbursed by Medicare under other fee schedule methods than the PFS.
Determine which PQRS reporting method best fits your practice. The PQRS has several methods in which measure data can be reported. An EP may choose from the following methods to submit data to CMS: claims-based, registry-based, qualified EHR, Qualified Clinical Data Registry, or the Group Practice Reporting Option.
If the chosen method to report is qualified registry based, determine which measure reporting option (individual measures or measures group) best fits your practice. Review the specific criteria for the chosen reporting option in order to satisfactorily report.
Eligible professionals who choose to report 2014 PQRS individual measures should select at least 9 clinically applicable measures across 3 National Quality Strategy (NQS) domains to submit in an attempt to qualify for a PQRS incentive payment. If fewer than 9 measures or if less than 3 NQS domains are reported via claims or qualified registry, CMS will apply a measure-applicability validation (MAV) process when determining incentive eligibility. Refer to MAV information available on the Analysis and Payment page, claims-based MAV on the Measures Codes page, and registry-based MAV on the Registry Reporting page.
All PQRS measures and their available reporting methods can be reviewed in the 2014 PQRS Measures List. The list is available in the 2014 PQRS Measures List Implementation Guide zip file found within the CMS website.
Individual Measures or Measures Group
Eligible professionals may choose at least 9 individual measures across 3 NQS domains or 1 measures group as an option to report on measures to CMS. Review the following supporting documentation for specific criteria to satisfactorily report on these 2 options.
If already participating in PQRS, there is no requirement to select new/different measures for the 2014 PQRS. Note: All PQRS measure specifications are annually updated and posted prior to the beginning of each program year; therefore, EPs will need to review them for any revisions or measure retirement for the current program year.
Notice that each measure or measure group has a reporting frequency or timeframe requirement for each eligible patient seen during the reporting period by each individual EP. The reporting frequency (ie, report each visit, once during the reporting period, each episode, and so on) is found in the instructions section of each measure specification or in the Measure Group Overview section. Ensure that all members of the team understand and capture this information in the patients’ medical record to facilitate reporting.
Best of luck with your PQRS reporting!