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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time running out for PQRS and eRx incentives

It's not too late to participate in a pair of federal incentive programs targeting clinical quality and computerized prescriptions. But you need to move fast.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week hosted a national call to discuss how physicians and other eligible health care professionals can submit 2012 program year data for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program.

In case you missed it, below are some of the highlights.

For individual eligible professionals, you still have time to participate in the 2012 PQRS if you report your information either through a qualified registry or through a qualified electronic health record (EHR). The EHR option can communicate either directly or through a data submission vendor.

Registry vendors can submit data between Feb. 1 and March 31. EHR users can already submit their data, but they only have until Feb. 28. No submissions after the end dates will be allowed.

You may potentially qualify to receive a full-year incentive payment. But even if you don't, it's good experience in reporting PQRS measures before tackling 2013, which is the reporting period CMS will use in determining PQRS penalties in 2015.

The same options and dates apply with respect to the eRx Incentive Program. As with the PQRS, you may potentially qualify to receive a full-year incentive payment, and you may potentially qualify to avoid the 2014 eRx penalty. However, to avoid a penalty this year, you had to have complied with the program by June 30, 2012.

For more information on the programs, you can find the presentation from the national call online.

– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

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