Thursday, October 3, 2013

Deadline Approaching for Reporting Medicare Quality Measures

Psychiatrists have until December 31 to begin participating in Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) if they want to avoid a future penalty on their Medicare reimbursements. The PQRS, established in 2006, is a major component of the government's effort to shift Medicare from a system that pays a standard fee for every CPT-coded service to one that incorporates quality-of-care measures, which is sometimes referred to as pay-for-performance. Clinicians only have to report one quality measure (out of the 259 that have established) for one Medicare patient by the end of this year to avoid a 1.5% penalty on their reimbursements beginning in 2015. The program already pays clinicians who file PQRS measures a .5% reimbursement premium.

Several of the measures are relevant to the care psychiatrists often provide. Among these are five concerned with depression treatment and four related to substance-use screening. Other measures are not specifically psychiatry related but refer to CPT codes that psychiatrists use.

APA has posted detailed information about the PQRS on its website, including links to sample forms for reporting quality measures to Medicare.

(image: alexmillos/


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