Should Your Practice Participate In The Physician Quality Reporting Incentives (PQRI) Program?
In 2006, the government got serious about identifying which medical treatments and drug therapies work best and most cost-effectively – and which ones don't. That's when Congress passed the "Tax Relief and Health Care Act," a bill that included cash incentives to Medicare Part B physicians who reported quality clinical data on their prescribed treatments for certain medical conditions.
And that's essentially when the PQRI program was born. Since then, Congress has allocated money each year to pay participating PQRI physicians for reporting this data. (Note that the program name was recently changed to the Physician Quality Reporting System – PQRS. It's the same program, though.)
PQRI is voluntary – for now.
Participation in the PQRI program isn't mandatory, but participating doctors can receive the following PQRI incentive funds in 2011:
- 1% of Medicare Part B claims
- 1.5% of Medicare Part B claims if participation includes Maintenance of Certification program
Be aware that the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare expect to merge the program with the separate MIPPA incentives program in a few years. At which point, non-participation will result in penalties.
Beyond the money: the bigger impact of PQRI
Ok, so you can get a nice incentive check for submitting quality data. But what about the potential to improve national patient health outcomes (and drive down skyrocketing health care costs)? We'd say that's an invaluable opportunity.
Look at it like this. Is there a medical or drug treatment that is doing wonderful things for your patients? Alternatively, have you ever prescribed a costly chemotherapy drug (as most are), only to see it make little difference in your patient's condition?
By participating in the PQRI program, physicians have a way to communicate such scenarios to the government. And with solutions like Rcopia e-prescribing and patient medication software, it's refreshingly simple to do so.
Using Rcopia e-prescribing software to qualify for PQRI
The CMS recognizes three ways for physicians to submit/report PQRI data:
- With Medicare Part B claims
- Through a Qualified Physician Reporting registry
- OR through a certified EHR solution
Let's talk about that third solution for submitting PQRI data – specifically, DrFirst's Rcopia e-prescribing and patient medication history software:
- Award-winning e-prescribing and patient medication history software officially recognized as a PQRI data submittal solution
- Costs $2 a day and qualifies doctors for PQRI or MIPPA incentives, their choice
PQRS incentives aside, Rcopia cuts prescription processing time down to two minutes or less – so your practice gets the added benefit of more time with patients instead of calling in prescriptions.
Looking for even more substantial incentives, including up to $21K this year? Check out RcopiaMU, the ONC ATCB-certified* version of Rcopia that meets all critical Meaningful Use requirements!
Consult with DrFirst for more information on the PQRI program. It's free with no obligation to buy our software. DrFirst works closely every day with government agencies and industry groups to advance patient health records technology. We have the simplified, straightforward answers you need about PQRI and other government incentives programs.
*DrFirst's RcopiaMU is the combination of a DrFirst Rcopia ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified Modular EHR, certification number CC-1112-401680-2, which meets the following certification criteria: 170.302(a-e, j, o-v) and 170.304(a-b), and the WellCentive Patient Registry 2.0, certification number CC-1112-946650-3, which meets the following certification criteria: 170.302(c-i, k-v) and 170.304(c-j). The additional software relied upon for testing included OpenATNA, First DataBank Drug Database, and Surescripts. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.
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