The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is a quality monitoring reporting program that was launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve care through accountability and disclosure. Under PQRS, healthcare providers report quality measures about the services they have provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
These quality measures help assess care in terms of patient outcomes, perceptions, and organizational structure. They ultimately contribute to achieving a higher standard of care by focusing on effective, safe, patient-centered, equitable and timely delivery of treatment.
Challenges and Obstacles
Non-compliance with the PQRS program will result in fees and penalties. Eligible professionals that do not satisfactorily report data on quality measures in 2015 will be subject to a 2.0% adjustment in their fee schedule. Penalties for the 2015 reporting period are set to be assessed in 2017.
Although the PQRS rules directly impact the profitability of every practice, many have still not implemented this protocol. Why? Providers are not adequately educated about the program, overwhelmed by the perceived effort required to implement the program, or simply unaware it exists.
Aside from the financial impact of participating in the reporting program, there are other substantial advantages that benefit both providers and patients. With the results of this reporting, physicians can more easily:
- Assess the quality and enhance the care they provide to their patients
- Work with their patients to make informed decisions together, which lead to improved quality of care, improved health outcomes, and an increase in their overall quality of life
- View their published quality metrics alongside those of their peers so that they can quantify and track the quality of their services
For more information on PQRS and step-by-step instructions for getting started, visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services here.