Use PQRS now to avoid 2015 penalties
Optometrists who participate in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) during 2013 will avoid payment penalties in 2015. Fortunately, participating is easier than many practitioners think. Here's what Rebecca Wartman, O.D., of the AOA Federal Relations Committee, has to say . . .
All that is required is a "good faith effort" to participate in the program, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). That could mean simply using one PQRS code, one time, on one Medicare claim during 2013. A health care practitioner does not have to qualify for PQRS bonuses to avoid penalties.
However, optometrists have reasons to participate fully in PQRS, Dr. Wartman said. In the short term, a 0.5 percent Medicare payment bonus is offered for successful PQRS participation in 2013. In the long term, participation is expected to become a requirement for Medicare practitioners in the coming years.
To get the most out of participation, optometric practices can use the AOAExcelTM PQRS Summary Chart. This summary chart includes the PQRS codes relevant to eye care practice-helpful information that will help practitioners earn bonuses and avoid penalties.