Practice Tips: Planning ahead for successful PQRS participation

A new online registration tool may help internists avoid looming penalties by helping them to enroll in the Physician Quality Reporting System.

A new online registration tool may help internists avoid looming penalties in 2015 by offering a new way for them to enroll in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

The Physician Value-Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS) Registration System is a new application to serve practices registering for the group practice reporting option (GPRO) for the PQRS and value-based payment (VBP) modifier programs. Using this system will be the first step toward successfully registering for the PQRS program for calendar year 2013 and avoiding the 1.5% PQRS penalty and the 1% VBP penalty in 2015.

The PV-PQRS Registration System opened July 15 and will remain open until Oct. 15. Group practices will use the system to select or change their PQRS group reporting mechanism for 2013 if they plan on using one of the following reporting mechanisms: GPRO-Web interface, registry reporting, or CMS-calculated administrative claims reporting mechanism.

Group practices will also use this system to elect quality tiering, if applicable, to calculate the VBP modifier. Individual eligible professionals must also use this system to select the CMS-calculated administrative claims reporting mechanism in 2013 to avoid the PQRS payment adjustment in 2015.

To access this system, practices must have an Individual Authorized Access to the CMS Computer Services (IACS) account. The IACS system is an identity management system that provides the means to access CMS applications. CMS developed IACS to control issues of electronic identities and access to CMS Web-based applications.

Many practices may already have an IACS account. These practices are encouraged to ensure that their account is still active by contacting the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 (TTY 877-715-6222) or by e-mail. In addition, current users must add a PV-PQRS Registration System role to the account to register for VBP and elect a PQRS reporting mechanism to avoid a penalty in 2015.

Group practices that do not currently have an IACS account will need to sign up for a new account. For VBP purposes, it is especially important that groups of 100 or more eligible professionals register under IACS and register with the PV-PQRS to avoid the VBP modifier adjustment in 2015. Only groups of 100 or more eligible professionals will be subject to the VBP during performance year 2013.

Group practices are identified in IACS by their Medicare billing tax identification number. One authorized representative of a group practice must sign up for an IACS account with the PV-PQRS group security official role and register the group practice as an organization in IACS. This individual will become the group's primary security official. This individual will be able to select or change the group practice's PQRS group reporting mechanism for 2013.

In addition, if the group has 100 or more eligible professionals, this individual will be able to elect quality tiering to calculate the VBP modifier in 2015. The primary security official will also be able to access the group practice's 2012 quality and resource use report after Sept. 16, 2013.

For more information on the PV-PQRS and IACS account and to check whether your practice needs to register, visit online.

For more information on upcoming important dates related to a variety of regulatory, payment, educational and delivery system changes and requirements (including PQRS and VBP), visit online.