CMS may reward physician EHR reporting as soon as 2010

CMS may expand its Physician Quality Reporting Initiative incentive program as soon as next year to include clinical data reported from EHRs. "We will make the determination as to whether accepting data from EHRs on quality measures is practical and feasible for the 2010 PQRI prior to publication of the CY 2010 PFS final rule with comment period," the agency says in its proposed Medicare physician fee schedule for 2010, published Monday.

Currently, PQRI pays bonuses of up to 2 percent for physicians who submit claims data, either electronically or on paper. CMS has been testing EHR reporting as part of the program but to date has not included incentives for submitting clinical information from EHRs. Expanding PQRI to include EHR reporting could not only boost technology adoption, it could start to silence some of the critics who believe incentive programs like this are more pay-for-reporting than pay-for-performance and do little to encourage better outcomes.

For more on the CMS proposal:
- read this Health Data Management story
- view the lengthy but searchable CMS rule in the Federal Register