Medical directors raise concerns about quality reporting, health IT in long-term care settings

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Since the adoption of health information technology has varied between acute and long-term care settings, that fact should be reflected in quality reporting requirements for physicians, a prominent association of medical directors says.

In its proposed 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services floated the idea of tripling the number of measures that must be reported via the Physician Quality Reporting System's data registry option. Doing so would “unfairly target” doctors in post-acute and long-term care settings, according to AMDA-Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine (formerly the American Medical Directors Association).

There is already limited participation in the PQRS program by doctors in long-term care, due to a lack of appropriate measures for LTC patients and a lack of reporting mechanisms, AMDA noted.

“There are no measures currently developed, nor is there a registry that would satisfy this requirement for physicians practicing in PA/LTC settings,” the group wrote in its Sept. 6 comment to CMS. If CMS does not adopt a “more flexible policy” that would allow for more limited initial reporting, the development of a registry for LTC could be delayed, the association warned.

Other CMS proposals, such as penalties related to the Value-Based Modifier program, also could unfairly penalize long-term care doctors practicing without a robust health IT infrastructure, according to AMDA. The group urged CMS and Congress to work together toward incentives that would boost electronic health records in long-term care.

Click here to access the complete AMDA document.