PQRS and Psychologists: 2014 data

In late April, I received an email from Dr. Carolyn Stimel, Director of Professional Affairs and Acting Interim Executive Director for the Florida Psychological Association. She was sharing information provided by the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) that I wanted to pass on to you. Those of you who are members of APA and contribute to the Practice Organization may have already read this information in the APAPO’s Practice Update.

The short version of this report can be boiled down to ‘perseverance pays.’ The longer version of the story includes the at-first futile but now successful efforts by a California psychologist. You can see the detail in the American Psychological Association Practice Organization’s article. The report also contains steps you should take if you were denied the incentive even though you believe you reported properly.

The psychologist’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) report to CMS for 2014 included data on 8 measures. According to CMS, in order to receive a 0.5% incentive payment, she would have needed to report on 9 measures. She argued that she could not find a 9th measure that was relevant to her practice and part of her scope of practice. With the help of an attorney, and ultimately the APAPO, she appealed and won.

If you tried to qualify for the incentive payment and were rejected, be sure to take a look at this report. If you have opted out of being a Medicare provider because you don’t want to deal with reporting quality measures, please reconsider. We baby boomers now on Medicare would like to be sure we can receive the quality services provided by psychologists.

The APA Practice Organization is supported by member dues.


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