CMS PQRS Incentive


The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is a federal program with the long-term goal of making more information about physicians’ performance available to patients, while rewarding physicians who provide better care. In 2011 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added an MOC option to PQRS. This was done to encourage physicians to participate in public quality reporting and improvement through ABMS Member Boards MOC programs. Recognizing the additional cost and administrative burden of doing so, Congress made available additional financial support for those who participate in PQRS in combination with MOC activities.

Physicians who successfully meet the criteria for PQRS reporting in 2012 will receive an incentive payment equal to 0.5% of their total estimated Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule allowed charges for covered professional services furnished during the reporting period. It should be noted that failure to participate in PQRS in 2013 will result in a penalty in 2015. Through MOC:PQRS eligible physicians who satisfactorily submit data under PQRS have the opportunity to earn an additional 0.5%. They must participate in a CMS-qualified MOC program "more frequently" than required to qualify for or maintain Board Certification.

All neurosurgeons may participate in PQRS. While they may use any approved registry, the ABMS offers a registry specifically for the purpose. The ABMS has worked with CECity to develop a suite of tools that can be utilized separately or as a bundle, depending on the needs of the neurosurgeon. For instance, a CMS qualified registry and a Patient Experience of Care Survey are available there. The data collected is focused on quality measures for a twelve-month reporting period. The registry will open in early April, and a link will be posted on the ABNS website once it is functional.

In addition, ABNS Diplomates are eligible to participate in the MOC:PQRS incentive. The first requirement is to participate in PQRS. The second varies depending on the type of Certificate the Diplomate holds.

Non-Time-Limited Certificate Holders
Participation in regular MOC completing all three-year mini-cycle requirements within three years. A number of the requirements must be completed during each of the three years (all of them by the end of the third), or the ABNS will not certify the individual for PQRS.

Time-Limited Certificate Holders
All requirements of a three-year mini-cycle must be completed within two-years.
There are no exceptions

Some Diplomates received approval for MOC:PQRS in 2012. If they have non-time limited Certificates, they must continue on track in 2013 and 2014. If they have time-limited Certificates, they must complete the three-year mini-cycle in 2013 in order to be eligible for PQRS this year.