Friday, October 31, 2014 Final 2015 Physician Fee Schedule Rule Announces 1% Payment Rise for PT, Increase in PQRS Reporting, Delay of VM for PTs Note: This version corrects an earlier PT in Motion News post that described the 2.0% PQRS penalty as being implemented in 2016. That penalty will be put in place in 2017. The final 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule rule released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) includes an aggregate increase in payment for physical therapy services of 1%--provided Congress stops implementation of a payment cut due to the flawed SGR formula by March 31. In addition, despite objections from APTA and other organizations, the new rule increases the number of Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures required for reporting of physical therapists (PTs) in private practice and other health care professionals to as many as 9. The new PQRS rules were opposed by many other professional health care provider organizations and APTA, which provided CMS with comments when the rule was first proposed. The PQRS change will increase the number of individual measures required to be reported in order to avoid the 2017 2.0% PQRS penalty, from 3 to as many as 9, depending on whether the provider is using claims ( 6 measures available for 2015), or registry (9 required, or as many as apply to the provider). As in 2014, providers must report on at least 50% of eligible Medicare patients. Other changes include: The 2015 therapy cap will be $1,940, up $20 from the 2014 cap. If Congress fails to act before March 31, 2015, the process for exceptions to the therapy cap will end, including the $3,700 manual medical review process. In other rules announcements, CMS issued final rules on the methodology for adjusting the DMEPOS feel schedule payment amounts, and the establishment of alternative payment rules for a phase-in of a competitive bidding program. APTA will post detailed summaries of the new rules in the coming weeks. Visit PT in Motion News for more information on recently-released rules from CMS, including the 2015 outpatient prospective payment system and home health prospective payment system.