House expected to consider Medicare physician payment legislation by June 30

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation to block the pending 21.2 percent cut to physician Medicare payments soon.  The cuts will take effect June 1 unless final legislation is signed into law before then. The proposed bill, H.R. 4213, “The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” also includes numerous other “tax extender” provisions, such as extended unemployment insurance and COBRA coverage through the end of 2010. The bill must also pass through the Senate if it is approved by the House.

CMS Announces Vetted PQRI Registries List for 2010

CMS recently announced that a group of 31 PQRI  registries have become “qualified” to submit quality data to CMS on behalf of their eligible professionals for 2010 PQRI reporting. CMS indicated taht each registry has gone through a thorough vetting process including checking their capability to provide the required PQRI data elements, reviewing a measure flow (this checks to see whether the registry calculates the measure’s reporting and performance rates correctly), and transmitting the required information in the requested file format (XML). While the listed registries successfully completed the vetting process, CMS does not guarantee that any or all of the listed registries will be successful in providing the required information on behalf of their eligible professionals for the possible payment incentive. This list, however, represents those registries who successfully submitted data for 2008 PQRI in early 2009 on behalf of their eligible professional clients. Additional 2009 “qualified” registries (who have completed the vetting process) will be submitting 2009 PQRI data in early 2010 and will be added to this list if their data submission is successful (list update anticipated Spring 2010). Finally,  other registries will be allowed to become “qualified” for 2010 PQRI participation. CMS expects to complete the vetting process and post the names of the new registries by the summer of 2010. Eligible professionals who wish to participate in 2010 PQRI using one of the registry-based options may contact the PQRI registries directly for additional details on participation options.