It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, I am not talking about the upcoming holiday season; I’m talking about the L, M, N, O—wait for it—PQRS season. Now, before you roll your eyes at what you might call misplaced cheer, let me explain: PQRS doesn’t have to be groan-worthy—if you choose the best reporting method, that is (more on that later). CMS designed PQRS in an effort to improve the quality of data reporting in the healthcare world—PT, OT, and SLP worlds included. Like it—or hate it—Physician Quality Reporting System is here to stay, so be of good cheer and embrace it, I say!

Okay, so back to reporting methods: there are three ways to report PQRS in 2015. They are:

  • claims-based (individual, manual submissions)
  • registry-based (automatic individual submissions)
  • GPRO (automatic group submissions via a registry), which can be trickier than the other methods of reporting, so keep an eye on the WebPT Blog for a post on this

If you’re a single provider, you can report using either claims- or registry-based reporting. However, this may not be the case in the future; Medicare has made it clear that they intend to eliminate claims-based reporting sooner rather than later. Every year, the available measures and reporting requirements change to subtly (or not-so-subtly) pressure eligible professionals into switching to a certified CMS registry—like WebPT—for reporting. (Allow me to elaborate: CMS is strategically removing claims-based reporting eligibility for certain measures, making registry-based reporting a more enticing option for those wishing to satisfactorily report.)

Beyond the impending demise of claims-based reporting, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider registry-based reporting over claims-based—especially if you’re a single provider. Here are the benefits of registry-based reporting with WebPT:

  • When you use WebPT as your EMR and take advantage of our registry-based reporting feature, all you need to do is choose your measures and document. We manage the rest. Once we collect your reporting data, we submit it directly to CMS on your behalf through our certified CMS registry.
  • You can eliminate the need to fill out a lengthy paper PQRS form with every applicable note. In WebPT, the PQRS measures on which you choose to report are built into your documentation for you. That’s a no-brainer—who doesn’t love avoiding manual work?
  • There are automatic checks and balances. WebPT will let you know if—and exactly where within the note—you’re not properly reporting. Pen and paper don’t offer that perk.
  • WebPT updates the measures available within our system every year in accordance with the final rule. Plus, we narrow down the options based on your specialty, making it easier for you to select the measures on which you’d like to report.
  • WebPT’s got your back—not only through our PQRS services, but through educational resources and trainings. This means you’re far more likely to meet the reporting requirements and avoid the noncompliance penalty.

If the benefits of registry-based reporting still don’t fit the bill for you—or if Medicare makes up only a small percentage of your payer mix—then claims-based reporting might work for you. However, there are some disadvantages to claims-based reporting:

  • As I mentioned above, claims-based reporting will not be available forever. Eventually, you’ll have to use a registry-based system, and it would be prudent to start learning how to use one sooner rather than later.
  • Someone has to manage and properly collect data for PQRS. This is no easy task, and it usually means you have to have one person solely dedicated to it. If you’re a one-PT practice, this becomes an even greater challenge.
  • There are no automated checks and balances in claims-based reporting. You, or someone else in your clinic, has to be on top of every form and submission to avoid the noncompliance penalty.

PQRS may not have you singing holiday carols, but you can lessen the anxiety and burden by going for registry-based reporting in 2015.

Are you a WebPT Member and have questions about signing up for PQRS for 2015? Contact Not a WebPT Member? If you want take the pain out of documentation and PQRS reporting, contact