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  • APTA Outcomes Registry Earns Key QCDR Designation for Use With MIPS

    APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry (Registry) has been approved again by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR). The designation for 2019 means that physical therapists (PTs) who participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) can submit their measures data directly from the Registry—including new measures supported by APTA that now position the Registry as the leading physical therapy registry in terms of the number of QCDR measures offered.

    The approval comes as many PTs are facing a new reporting and payment world, the result of a CMS decision to include physical therapy in its Quality Payment Program (QPP) beginning in 2019. That program, with MIPS as its centerpiece, puts a heavy emphasis on outcomes reporting and ties that reporting to potential payment adjustments.

    That's where the number of measures offered through the Registry comes into play. Basically, more measures mean more data points to report, and more data points mean more opportunities for PTs to meet CMS requirements—and possibly receive payment increases in the future. The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry now offers more QCDR-related measures than any other physical therapy-only option.

    According to Heather Smith, PT, MPH, APTA's director of quality, while the Registry's role in helping PTs comply with MIPS is important, it's far from the only benefit of the resource.

    "With the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry, APTA is looking forward, beyond MIPS data submission," Smith stated in an APTA news release. "Because the Registry gives users continual feedback on performance throughout the year, physical therapists can better understand their treatment patterns, interventions, and outcomes for specific patient populations, and apply that information to improve their practice. Ultimately, this will benefit the profession as a whole."

    Headed to the APTA Combined Sections Meeting this month? Check out the Registry booth at the APTA Pavilion. For a detailed look at MIPS and QPP, be sure to attend " Emerging Issues in Medicare: Quality Programs and Alternative Payment Models," on Friday, January 25 at 11:00 am. CMS representatives will be on hand to discuss the programs.


    • No one seems to be able to answer this question for me: can one report on the functional measures (MIPS measures 217 - 223) without using FOTO? If so, how? If not, why don't they just come out and declare that we must use FOTO? And, as a follow-up, is it legal for CMS to mandate that we must pay for a service in order to report?

      Posted by Jason Wilwert on 1/8/2019 7:47 PM

    • Hi Jason! We are participating in MIPS and we do not use FOTO, we are reporting through KEET Health, QCDR

      Posted by Jasmene Jarrett on 1/9/2019 10:04 PM

    • @ Jason - thanks for the question. CMS has stated that “Another high priority measure (A high priority measure is now defined as an outcome, appropriate use, patient safety, efficiency, patient experience, care coordination, or opioid-related quality measure. Outcome measures include intermediate-outcome and patient-reported outcome measures) can be reported in lieu of an outcome measure, should there not be one available or applicable to the clinician’s practice.” In addition, some registries (those with the QCDR designation) may be offering additional outcome measures for reporting in 2019.

      Posted by APTA Staff on 1/10/2019 9:34 AM

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