CMS to integrate PQRI, EHR meaningful use programs

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) filed a proposed rule last week addressing changes to the Medicare Part B physician payment fee schedule for calendar year 2011, including the integration of Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and the EMR incentive program.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires CMS, by no later than Jan. 1, 2012, to develop a plan to integrate reporting on quality measures under PQRI with reporting requirements relating to the meaningful use of EHRs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“In an effort to align PQRI with the EHR incentive program, we propose to include many ARRA core clinical quality measures in the PQRI program, to demonstrate meaningful use of EHR and quality of care furnished to individuals,” stated the proposed rule, filed on June 25. “We propose the selection of these measures to meet the requirements of planning the integration of PQRI and EHR reporting.”

The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on July 13, according to the organization, and is currently available in the Federal Register’s Public Inspection Desk for public comment. Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the date of filing for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register.