pqrsAs you may have learned through all the MACRA buzz, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) will be folded into the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under MACRA in 2017, and the PQRS program as we know it will end on December 31, 2016. But here’s why it should still be important to you:

MIPS doesn’t begin until 2017, but a majority of your total MIPS score will be derived from your performance in Meaningful Use and PQRS. If you already do well with those programs, you are setting yourself up for success under MACRA.

PQRS-eligible professionals will be subject to a two percent penalty in 2018 for non-participation or unsatisfactory reporting in 2016. The registration deadline for PQRS reporting was June 30, 2016. In order for a group who missed the deadline to avoid an automatic penalty in 2018, at least 50 percent of the group’s individual eligible physicians must successfully report for PQRS in 2016 through one of the individual reporting mechanisms.

CMS has established a new star ratings program, which provides a “consumer reports” sort of ratings information about providers who accept Medicare. The program sets a benchmark and measures physician performance on their quality measures based on this benchmark, assigning a one- to five-star rating according to performance. They publish the ratings to the CMS website for the public to see.

CMS is set to release a final rule for MIPS policies this coming fall. Continuing to prioritize Meaningful Use and PQRS should remain a top priority.

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