CMS Announces Deadlines to Report 2014 PQRS Data

Time is running out to avoid penalties in the Medicare PQRS program. What you report will determine your 2016 penalty status. To avoid the 2016 penalty, an eligible provider (EP) must report 3 PQRS measures in calendar year 2014. There may still be time to avoid this penalty by reporting quality data through a CMS qualified registry or EHR. More information on the PQRS requirements and reporting options are available on the CMS website. The deadlines for reporting 2014 quality data are as follows, as reported by CMS:

Reporting Method Submission Period Submission Deadline Time(All Times are Eastern)
EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor that is certified EHR technology (CEHRT) 1/1/15 - 2/28/15 8:00 p.m.
Qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) (using QRDA III format) reporting for PQRS and the clinical quality measure (CQM) component of meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 1/1/15 - 2/28/15 8:00 p.m.
Group practice reporting option (GPRO) Web Interface 1/26/15 - 3/20/15 8:00 p.m.
Qualified registries 1/1/15 - 3/31/15 8:00 p.m.
QCDRs (using XML format) reporting for PQRS only 1/1/15 - 3/31/15 8:00 p.m.
Maintenance of Certification Organizations (MOCs) 1/1/15 - 3/31/15 8:00 p.m.

In addition to the PQRS penalty, a Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier) will apply starting in 2016 to physician group practices of 10 or more eligible professionals (EPs). This Value Modifier will adjust Medicare physician payments based on a quality and cost assessment completed by CMS, relying on PQRS for quality data analysis. Therefore, physicians in practices of 10 or more EPs must meet 2014 PQRS criteria or face penalties in both the PQRS and Value Modifier programs in 2016.
To learn more about how you can act now to avoid these penalties, attend the upcoming NCMS-hosted Webinar on January 21 explaining how it is not too late to send in the data for 2014 and avoid the 2016 penalties. Watch the NCMS website and the Bulletin for details.
For questions, please contact North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Director of Health Policy, Jennifer Gasperini, 919-833-3836 X152 or the NCMS Director of Practice Improvement Terri Gonzalez, 919-833-3836 X123, or visit our Marketplace page to view an NCMS-approved vendor list.

CMS Accepting Suggestions for PQRS Measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) currently is accepting quality measure suggestions for potential inclusion in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for future rule-making years. These measures are used not only for the purposes of the PQRS program, but additional value-based initiatives such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM). Having a deep understanding of these measures will be increasingly important, particularly as CMS continues to phase-in implementation of the VBPM to all physicians starting in 2017. To learn more about the call for measures, visit the CMS website.

We Know the Troubles You’ve Seen

In June 2013, NCMS already knew the transition from HP’s legacy Medicaid claims system to CSC’s NCTracks would present challenges for physicians across the state.  So in advance of the July 1 go-live date, NCMS launched its NCTracks Trouble Log, a straightforward web-based form designed to allow medical practices to report their problems to us with ease.
We didn’t realize at the time how critical this tool would become over the next six months, especially. In the troubled early days of NCTracks, our Trouble Log was flooded with responses, ranging from incredibly detailed accounts of system failures to desperate pleas for help. Physician practices, hospital systems, dentists, chiropractors and other provider types used the Trouble Log to share their experiences.
This data allowed NCMS to identify common problems with the system and report those to CSC and NCDHHS for resolution. It also allowed us to escalate urgent problems immediately and ensure that medical practices in dire need received immediate attention. To date the Log received 200 separate complaints involving thousands of doctors and patients.
Having served its purpose (and then some!) we are decommissioning the Trouble Log and removing it from our website, a year-and-a-half after its launch. Our NCTracks advocacy efforts, of course, will continue, as there are still many folks out there experiencing problems and many system improvements that CSC has forthcoming.  Please continue to notify us about difficulties you encounter by emailing or calling Belinda McKoy, NCMS Solution Center Coordinator, 919-833-3836 X142.