Study: 40 Percent of Doctors Opt for Fines Over High-Quality Reporting Compliance

According to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more doctors are taking part in a reporting system geared toward prioritizing the quality of patient care over the number of patients served. However, the study also revealed that 40 percent of physicians would still rather have their pay slashed by 1.5 percent than participate in the program.

CMS’s data shows that around 642,000 health care providers complied with the program in the 2013 reporting year, which gave them a .5 percent boost in payments during 2015. However, more than 460,000 providers out of the eligible 1.2 million decided to simply take a 1.5 percent pay cut so that they wouldn’t have to participate in the Physician-Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program (PQRS).

Not worth the effort?

Most of the doctors taking the pay cut say the programs put in place by CMS are time-consuming and confusing. According to these medical professionals, the programs simply do not have very many critical benefits — and they can also hurt their ability to treat patients.

However, of the doctors not participating, 70 percent treat fewer than 100 Medicare patients every year and 43 percent treat fewer than 25. There are some who speculate that these doctors simply felt it was less of a burden to accept the fine than to have to fill out the reporting paperwork.

This was the first year the Affordable Care Act implemented penalties for health care providers who did not participate in the program. The penalties will increase every year and are handed down two years after reports are due.

For more information on reporting compliance issues and how they might affect your health care organization, contact a skilled New Jersey attorney with Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC.

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Posted in: Compliance