Are Medicare Quality Data Getting Easier to Report?

Kenneth J. Terry, MA


May 13, 2015

In This Article

Mixed Feelings About Just-Once Reporting

Physicians are modestly optimistic that CMS's just-once reporting approach will reduce some of their compliance work.

"If they can come up with a methodology so that you can do your reporting in one fell swoop to accomplish all three goals, I think that's a score," Dr Rippel says. "The only caveat is what workflow change will be involved to accomplish that."

Dr Rippel is willing to switch to electronic reporting to achieve that, and he believes his practice will be ready when it's required in 2018. "But as time goes on, we spend a larger and larger portion of our time being data-capture automatons rather than clinicians," he points out.

Dr von Elten agrees. "The troublesome aspect is the amount of time it takes to collect some of those data on the PQRS measures when you have limited time to spend with a patient who has multiple problems," he says. "You also have an inefficient way to report the data because you're using a point-and-click method to document it. It becomes problematic for us as clinicians."

Brown maintains that the alignment of quality reporting to the three CMS programs "doesn't streamline the path to avoid major pay cuts" for noncompliance with the programs. It's difficult for physicians to select the right measures, she says, and it's challenging for practices to use the software for direct reporting to CMS, partly because of vendor issues. Moreover, this is all happening when physicians need to report successfully this year to avoid later penalties.

"Moving to the penalty phase and taking away the only free reporting mechanism increases the burden that's already on providers," she says. "And when you add vendor issues on top of that, it makes the process all the more burdensome for them."


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