Medicare paid $92M in incentives during 2008

A new report from CMS concludes that the agency paid out $92 million in Medicare quality-related incentives during 2008, up from $36 million in 2007. The incentives, which went out to more than 85,000 physicians and other professionals, were dished out under the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI).

The average incentive payment for PQRI participants was more than $1,000, though one entity received more than $98,000, CMS said. The number of providers and other eligible providers getting payments jumped by one-third from 2007, when 56,700 professionals received incentive checks.

The PQRI, which was started in 2006 by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act, allows physicians and other healthcare providers to get incentive payments if they sign up voluntarily to report quality data on their services to Medicare beneficiaries. The law allows those who meet CMS's quality data submission standards to be eligible for incentives of up to 1.5 percent of total estimated allowed charges under Medicare Part B for covered professional services.

Get more detail on the program:
- read this press release
- review CMS's 2010 PQRI Program plan

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