APAPO launches new PQRS registry

This online service is designed for psychologists and other mental and behavioral health professionals.

The American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) is pleased to announce the launch of APAPO PQRSPRO, a new service designed to help psychologists and other mental and behavioral health professionals report quality measures through Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Psychologists can access the registry online at http://apapo.pqrspro.com.

After exploring several options for collaboration, the APA Practice Organization teamed up with Healthmonix, a leading health care data and technology company, to develop APAPO PQRSPRO. This registry is unique in focusing on PQRS measures used by mental and behavioral health providers.

Registry reporting is one of three mechanisms generally available for participating in PQRS. Another option involves using an electronic health record keeping system for PQRS reporting. The third mechanism — reporting measures on CMS claims forms — will eventually be eliminated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as noted in the agency’s final rule on the 2015 Medicare fee schedule.

Psychologists who are Medicare providers can still participate in PQRS for 2014 by signing up for the new registry no later than Jan. 31, 2015, and reporting by Feb. 15. By successfully reporting on PQRS measures for the 2014 reporting period (calendar year 2014), psychologists earn a 0.5 percent bonus on their entire 2014 Medicare charges; they also avoid a 2 percent penalty in 2016 that will apply to Medicare providers who fail to participate successfully in PQRS for 2014.

Compared to claims-based reporting, PQRS participants have higher rates of success when reporting through registries and electronic health records. CMS statistics show that claims-based reporting has a 56 percent success rate, while Healthmonix had a better than 99 percent success rate in 2013 with other partner organizations.

Information about how to use APAPO PQRSPRO is available on the registry website, which includes tutorials to guide participants through the reporting process. For anyone needing additional support the website also lists contact information for Healthmonix.

Staff for the APAPO PQRSPRO system offer advice on PQRS reporting options and have expertise in determining the best approach for your reporting. Among the benefits of registry reporting, the APAPO PQRSPRO system automatically calculates and validates your data to ensure successful submission.

If you already began submitting PQRS data in 2014 through claims-based reporting, you can still transition to participation through the APAPO PQRS PRO registry to ensure successful reporting.  Both methods will be included in your 2014 feedback report from CMS; the agency will choose the best outcome for your success.

The online APAPO PQRSPRO registry is available at a discounted price of $199 (regularly $299) per provider for each reporting year, with further discounts for group practices of five or more providers.

According to APAPO Executive Director Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, neuropsychologists and geropsychologists will find it especially helpful that the APAPO PQRSPRO registry allows them to report using the PQRS measures group for dementia. Claims-based reporting may no longer be used for this measures group.

Further, Nordal observes that self-reporting on CMS claims forms is getting more difficult as the program evolves. “As PQRS becomes more difficult to navigate, we’re concerned that some practitioners who use claims-based resporting will face a Medicare payment penalty,” says Nordal. “We want to help our members succeed in PQRS by offering this registry.”