APAPO poised to launch new PQRS registry

Registries are shown to improve successful reporting rates compared to claims-based reporting.

Participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and avoiding Medicare payment penalties for 2016 and beyond is about to get easier: The APA Practice Organization (APAPO) is launching a PQRS registry in the coming weeks. 

APAPO has teamed up with Healthmonix, a leading health care data and technology company, to offer PQRSPRO to mental and behavioral health professionals in individual and group practices. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced PQRS in 2007 as part of the U.S. health services delivery system movement toward evidence-based care and enhanced patient outcomes. The program initially offered bonus payments to eligible professionals, including psychologists, who reported data on designated outpatient service measures. 

Beginning in 2015, CMS will no longer provide bonuses but instead will impose penalties on those who do not successfully report PQRS measures. CMS must operate prospectively in order to have the time needed to analyze reporting data before applying any payment adjustments. Payment penalty adjustments for 2016 will be based on PQRS reporting data from 2014. 

Don’t despair if you have not yet participated in 2014: It’s not too late. Providers have until mid-February 2015 to submit data through PQRSPRO, and other available reporting options, and still meet the reporting requirements for 2014.

Medicare providers have three options for submitting data for PQRS: reporting PQRS measures on the CMS 1500 claims form (claims-based); registry reporting such as through PQRSPRO; and certified electronic health records (EHR). CMS is moving toward making fewer measures available for claims-based reporting and more measures available through registry reporting and EHR systems.

Registries collect and transmit PQRS quality measure data directly to CMS, rather than requiring the participant to submit measures through claims-based reporting. The Healthmonix registry, PQRSPRO, meets strict criteria set by CMS such as having secure methods for data transmission and providing feedback to registry participants. 

CMS statistics show that claims-based reporting has a 56 percent success rate, while registry reporting has a 96 percent success rate. Healthmonix had a 99 percent success rate in 2013 with other partner organizations. 

Additional information about the new registry will be provided soon in PracticeUpdate e-newsletter articles and through other member communications, including the Winter 2015 issue of Good Practice magazine. Meanwhile, for more information on the PQRS program, visit the Quality Improvement Programs section of APAPO’s Practice Central website.