Medicare PQRI incentives total more than $92 million in 2008

December 3, 2009

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, significantly above the $36 million paid in 2007, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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, significantly above the $36 million paid in 2007, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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.

"We are very pleased with the results for 2008," said Charlene Frizerra, acting CMS administrator. "More health professionals have successfully reported data, and the substantial growth in the national total for PQRI incentive payments demonstrates that Medicare can align payment with quality incentives."

Physicians and other eligible professionals who satisfactorily reported PQRI quality measures data and thus qualified for an incentive payment for the 2008 PQRI received their payments this fall. The average incentive amount for individual professionals is more than $1,000, with the largest payment to an eligible professional totaling over $98,000.

More than 153,600 professionals participated in the 2008 PQRI. Of those, more than 85,000 physicians and other eligible professionals met statutory requirements for satisfactory reporting for the 2008 reporting period and are receiving incentive payments.