CMS to allow EHR reporting for PQRI, e-prescribing bonuses in 2010

The new Medicare Part B fee schedule for 2010 is encouraging doctors to adopt EHRs by, for the first time, allowing practices to use real clinical data from EHRs and e-prescribing systems to report quality measures for the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and e-prescribing incentive programs. The change, according to CMS, is "to promote adoption and use of electronic health records and to provide both eligible professionals and CMS with experience on EHR-based reporting," Government Health IT reports.

Whether the incentive payments are large enough to spur many practices to switch to EHRs ahead of the 2011 debut of the federal stimulus program is uncertain, however. PQRI participants can earn 2 percent on top of their total Medicare Part B fees for reporting quality data in 2010, and another 2 percent for writing electronic prescriptions. The e-prescribing bonus drops to 1 percent in 2011 and penalties for not e-prescribing begin in 2012. CMS is trying to simplify reporting of e-prescribing by requiring a single code to be eligible for the bonus next year.

To learn more about the PQRI and e-prescribing aspects of the 2010 fee schedule:
- take a look at this Government Health IT story