Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)

Introduced by CMS in 2007 as the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, PQRS is a reporting program that uses a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by Eligible Professionals (EPs), including physicians, practitioners and therapists. 

Using a set of quality measures developed by leading professional organizations, the program is designed to evaluate the level of care being provided by EPs. Measures consist of a denominator and a numerator, with denominators representing the total number of eligible cases for each measure and numerators representing the number of cases for which the clinical action required by the measure was carried out. 

Quality of Care

The overarching goal of PQRS is to collect meaningful quality data that will lead to improved patient care. The program gives individual EPs an opportunity to assess their quality of care and ensure that their patients get the right care at the right time. Reporting PQRS measures and receiving the feedback report provided by CMS allows EPS to quantify their performance on key quality metrics and compare their performance on a given measure with their peers.

Trends and Evidence-based Medicine

On a broader scale, PQRS enables policy-makers to reap the benefits of aggregating data across a variety of provider settings.  

Although it is important to have data on specific patients, identifying collective trends over time and across different patient populations can inform clinical decision-making and improve overall quality of care. Tracking chronic disease management on an aggregated level will support the continued development of evidence-based medicine and higher standards of care.

Meaningful Use versus PQRS

Although there are similarities between Meaningful Use and PQRS measures, professionals eligible for PQRS have to report PQRS and attest to Meaningful Use to avoid penalties. 

PQRS is specifically focused on healthcare quality and does not require an EHR system, but having an EHR will greatly assist in collecting the measure data. On the other hand, Meaningful Use specifically requires an EHR system.

Finding a PQRS Registry

MeHI no longer offers a PQRS Registry and Support. A number of alternate options are available in the market. Visit the Qualified Registries list on the CMS website to search for a suitable registry.

To learn more about PQRS reporting, visit the CMS PQRS Registry webpage.