(HealthDay News) — To avoid the additional 2016 value-based modifier of 2%, practices with ≥10 physicians must participate in the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Group Practice Reporting Option through September 30, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The AMA notes that, to avoid paying penalties, which will take effect next year, physicians were required to meet PQRS requirements beginning in 2013. Physicians who did not successfully participate in 2013 will have a 1.5% penalty on their 2015 Medicare payments. Those who do not participate this year will have a 2% penalty in 2016. To avoid the value-based modifier penalty, at least 50% of the physicians in a group practice must participate in 2014 PQRS individually, or through a group practice reporting option.

According to the AMA, newly updated participation tools can help physicians report their participation in the 2014 program. To ease the regulatory burden, the AMA has been working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The threshold for meeting reporting requirements was recently lowered by the CMS from 80 to 50% of applicable patients, and a new reporting option is now available.

“The AMA continues to call for better alignment of PQRS measures and the electronic health record meaningful use measures, timely access to feedback reports, and increased availability of specialty-specific measures,” according to the report.

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