CMS approves ACR data registry for PQRS reporting

Nearly half of all radiologists are reporting PQRS data, according to the ACR, and now they can do so using the ACR’s National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR).  If they register by June 30, the annual reporting fee is waived for individual radiologists whose practices/facilities are registered participants.

CMS approved the NRDR as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR), making the quality reporting process potentially more efficient for radiologists and the measures more relevant to the specialty. The registry can be used to report on PQRS measures, submit data for 20 non-PQRS measures, meet maintenance-of-certification practice quality improvement requirements, and maximize value modifier performance.

“As part of the Qualified Clinical Data Registry initiative from CMS, physicians can report on selected measures that they use in the NRDR registry to meet PQRS requirements,” explains Mythreyi Bhargavan Chatfield, PhD, ACR’s senior director of data registries, via email.  Twenty measures, all associated with participation in one of the five registries that comprise the NRDR, range from CT IV contrast extravasation rates to median dose length product for CT abdomen-pelvis with contrast.

The ACR is currently adapting the registry’s database infrastructure to support the reporting of 15 PQRS measures, expected to be complete by the end of the summer. Physicians will have the option of using data entry forms or uploading files to report.

An added benefit to using the registry to report PQRS data is that it will fulfill one MU Stage 2 menu objective. “Capability to identify and report specific cases to a specialized registry,” specified Mythreyi.

Further benefits of using the NRDR for PQRS reporting purposes include more latitude to meet the reporting requirements of nine measures, more relevant measures to achieve more meaningful quality improvement, and the potential to simultaneously meet MOC practice quality improvement requirements, said Judith Burleson, senior director, quality metrics, ACR, via email. She estimates that more than18,000 radiologists participated in the PQRS program in 2012, more than half of all who were eligible for the program.

“Additionally, as CMS continues implementation of the Physician Value-based Payment Modifier (VM) using PQRS performance rates for the quality portion of the VM calculation, radiology groups may find that by using a QCDR, their quality scores 1) are easier to monitor and improve throughout the reporting year, 2) could be higher because of the frequent feedback/monitoring and the greater number of measures available for reporting,” she wrote.

Jeffrey C. Weinreb, MD, FACR, chair of the NRDR, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to use quality metrics that are meaningful to meet reporting requirements and achieve success under the VM program with minimal additional burden. “We are pleased that CMS has recognized NRDR as an avenue for providers to compare their practice performance to regional and national benchmarks and help improve medical imaging care nationwide,” he said in a prepared statement.