More than 85,000 physicians and other eligible professionals who successfully reported quality-related data to Medicare under the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) received incentive payments totaling more than $92 million, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today, well above the $36 million paid in 2007.
According to the press release, The number of eligible professionals who earned an incentive payment increased by one-third from 2007, when 56,700 eligible professionals earned an incentive payment. In 2007, eligible professionals could only participate in the program during a 6-month reporting period. In 2008, the program expanded to allow reporting for either a 6-month or a 12-month period.
Established in late 2006 by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act, PQRI is a voluntary program that allows physicians and other eligible healthcare professionals to receive incentive payments for reporting data on quality measures related to services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries. In the initial program years, physicians and other eligible professionals who satisfactorily submitted quality data for covered professional services furnished in the applicable reporting period were able to receive incentive payments of 1.5 percent of the total estimated allowed charges under Medicare Part B for covered professional services.