AMA Wire

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

For Physicians

Avoid 2015 payment penalty: Participate in 2013 PQRS

Most physicians likely will see a 1.5 percent reduction in their 2015 Medicare payments unless they start meeting quality reporting requirements this year. Resources are available to help.

To avoid the 2015 penalty, physicians must satisfy the 2013 requirements for the Medicare Physician Quality and Reporting System (PQRS). A number of reporting options are possible for physicians as individuals or group practices, including paper claims, registries and electronic health records.

Thanks to recommendations made by the AMA to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), two simplified reporting options are available for physicians who wish to avoid the 2015 penalty: reporting only a single measure or measure group and reporting via administrative claims.

Under the second option, physicians do not need to report special codes. Instead, CMS will analyze their claims data to determine whether they have met the quality requirements. Physicians and group practices who choose this option must sign up to do so by Oct. 15.

Visit the AMA's PQRS Web page and read a recent article in American Medical News to learn more.

In addition, CMS is hosting a 90-minute call at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Feb. 19 to help physicians understand how to avoid the 2015 payment penalty. Participants will learn about helpful resources and can take part in a question-and-answer period at the end of the call.

Sign up today to participate. Registration will close at noon Eastern time Feb. 19 or when available space has been filled.

Physicians also can use a new set of participation tools from the AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement®. These worksheets help physicians understand dozens of individual quality measures and measures groups that are part of the PQRS. The worksheets also aid physicians in collecting the appropriate information they need to report.

Ethics code undergoing update; provide feedback

For the first time in four decades, the 165-year-old AMA Code of Medical Ethics is being updated to make it easy for physicians to find, read and interpret guidance on particular topics.

The AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA), which is charged with stewardship of the Code, is reviewing the more than 200 ethical opinions to ensure consistency across the Code while preserving its fundamental guidance. CEJA also is carefully evaluating the opinions for continued relevance, thoroughness of analysis, cogency of recommendations and topical gaps that require additional reports.

AMA members can view a sample of what the updated Code of Medical Ethics might look like through the online CEJA Forum (AMA member login required). While there, members can offer feedback on the new format and the proposed edits to opinions in a draft chapter on the health of the public.

Not an AMA member? Join today to become a part of important initiatives such as this.