Providers gain new CMS quality data-reporting options
Doctors participating in the voluntary 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) have new data-reporting options to facilitate participation and generate performance feedback, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Preliminary participation data indicates that PQRI has had a successful start—more than 100,000 eligible professionals submitted quality measure data at least once in 2007. CMS believes that more than half of the eligible professionals who participated in PQRI in 2007 appear to be on track to receive an incentive payment.

“We are encouraged by the success of the program so far, and with the new options for data reporting, more health professionals should take advantage of the reporting program,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “These new options will help all healthcare stakeholders take the positive steps necessary to ensure that beneficiaries continue to get high quality care.”

Congress made changes to the program in late 2007 with the passage of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007, which authorized PQRI transitional bonus incentive payments in 2008, and requires the establishment of alternative criteria for satisfactorily reporting and alternative reporting periods for both the reporting of groups of measures and the use of registry-based reporting. 

In addition to submitting PQRI measure data as part of their Medicare claims submissions, eligible professionals may now report data on quality measures to a medical registry, and the registries will then report that data to CMS. Registry-based reporting will provide more ways for eligible professionals to qualify for an incentive payment. 

Another change for 2008 is new PQRI reporting periods for eligible professionals who report using measures groups. Participants may now start reporting in July 2008 and still be eligible to earn an incentive payment for the 2008 PQRI program, according to CMS.