Key dates and deadlines for CMS incentive programs; one is July 1

2013 marks the beginning of a critical period for optometrists who treat Medicare patients.

The actions you take in the next 30 months will affect both incentives and penalties for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. The key dates and information below will help you earn incentives and avoid penalties.

PQRS key dates

July 1, 2013

  • Registration opens for optometrists who would like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to calculate their PQRS quality performance based on administrative claims. This option requires no additional work after signing up.
    • Individual optometrists and groups with fewer than 100 PQRS-eligible practitioners who sign up for this option will avoid the 2015 PQRS payment penalty.
    • Optometrists who choose this reporting method are not eligible for a PQRS incentive bonus.

  • Registration opens for practices with more than 100 PQRS-eligible practitioners to report to the CMS which method of reporting it will use for 2013. The group reporting methods include:
    • Web interface group reporting option
    • Registry
    • Request the CMS to calculate the group's performance based on quality measures from administrative claims

  • Practices with more than 100 PQRS-eligible practitioners can report their choice to participate in quality tiering for the value-based modifier program. Quality tiering will determine if the group performance is statistically better, the same or worse than the national mean. By participating in quality tiering, the practice could either receive a positive or negative 2015 payment adjustment related to the value-based modifier.  

Oct. 15, 2013

  • This is the deadline for electing the administrative claims option.

  • This is also the last date for practices of 100 or more PQRS-eligible practitioners to communicate their 2013 reporting method to CMS or elect quality tiering for the value-based modifier.  

Dec. 31, 2013

  • This is the end of the period to avoid 2015 PQRS payment adjustment.  

Jan. 1, 2015

  • This is when optometrists who did not successfully meet the PQRS requirements for avoiding the payment adjustment in 2013 will receive the 1.5 percent penalty deduction in their allowed Medicare Part B PFS amount for covered services.  

Medicare EHR Incentive Program key dates

Oct. 3, 2013

  • This is the last day to begin a 90-day reporting period for 2013.  

June 30, 2014

  • This is the last day to apply for an exemption to avoid the 2015 Medicare EHR program payment adjustment.  

July 1, 2014

  • Begin your 90-day meaningful use reporting period by this date to earn an EHR incentive in 2014 and avoid the 2015 and 2016 Medicare EHR payment adjustment.

June 27, 2013

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