Well, it’s November already, and that means two things: Thanksgiving and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Sure, PQRS doesn’t involve mouthwatering roasted turkey, savory stuffing, or creamy mashed potatoes, but it has become quite the November tradition for us here at WebPT. You see, this is the time of year that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) typically confirms the details of next year’s reporting requirements, thus allowing us to update our PQRS solution (claims- and registry-based reporting) and start our month-long blog and webinar theme of “everything you need to know to be PQRS compliant.”

Unfortunately, this year is shaping up a little differently. As a result of the government shutdown, CMS delayed its November 1 meeting to discuss the 2014 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule—which includes potential PQRS changes—until at least the middle of this month. And until they meet, we won’t know much about what PQRS 2014 will truly entail in terms of reporting requirements, measures, penalties, and incentives—let alone when the government will actually finalize the Proposed Rule. This means that as of today, no one knows for sure:

  • which measures therapists must report
  • how many measures therapists must report
  • whether there will be compliance incentives
  • what penalties will be associated with noncompliance
  • what percentage of patients for whom therapists must complete PQRS reporting

 

Here’s what we know:

Created by CMS, PQRS mandates that physical therapists, occupational therapists, and qualified speech-language therapists meet the standards for satisfactory reporting. If you are not PQRS compliant in 2014, CMS will assess penalties. (Although we don’t yet know what the penalty amount is or how CMS will assess it.) There also is a chance that CMS will provide incentive payments for successfully completing PQRS, as they did in 2013.

Here’s what’s important:

In the meantime, stay tuned to the WebPT blog for up-to-date information on PQRS developments. And if you’re curious about what’s on the 2014 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule docket, check out this article, where we’ve broken down CMS’s suggested changes.

Now, regarding this month’s blog and webinar theme: We know that PQRS and all things Medicare compliance are important. So, in addition to providing content on what we know currently about PQRS (and hopefully by month’s end we know lots more), we’re also going to provide refreshers on the 8-minute rule, functional limitation reporting, and the therapy cap. Have questions about anything else compliance related? Ask us in the comments below, and we’ll do our darndest to tackle them on the blog this month.

Of course, we here at WebPT aren’t PQRS—or compliance—all the time. Like I mentioned above, November means Thanksgiving, too. And we can’t wait! For us, this holiday is not only a time for giving thanks for the present, but also a time for reflecting on the year past—and what a year 2013 has been.

I’d like to wish you all a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving month, filled with good food, great friends, warm laughs, and lots of joy. Thank you for all that you do to make your patients—and the world—better.