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Physical therapists (PTs) now have another avenue to submit quality-reporting data under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program: APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the resource as a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR).

This means that Registry users who participate in MIPS—a voluntary program for now—can submit their data directly from the Registry. Because MIPS participation could be mandatory as early as 2019, the Registry’s QCDR status will be particularly helpful for practices whose electronic health records (EHRs) do not have that capability. APTA encourages eligible PTs to voluntarily participate in MIPS now, in order to be familiar with the program if and when participation becomes mandatory.

“As a qualified clinical data registry, the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry aligns with APTA’s commitment to demonstrating outcomes to advance quality and payment,” said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, in a news release. “The Registry will help us elevate the care we provide our patients, better understand our value, and define our future, both as individual physical therapists and as a profession.”

The Registry includes 8 quality measures, meeting stringent CMS criteria. Registry users can access nonproprietary outcomes measures supported by CMS, as well as measures specific to particular electronic health record (EHR) systems. In addition, planned body region/disease-specific treatment and outcome modules will help PTs treat patients according to established clinical practice guidelines.

"Patient registries will be crucial for improving and establishing best practices for future patient care, and MIPS participation is another aspect of that," said James Irrgang, PT, PhD, ATC, FAPTA, scientific director of the Registry’s Scientific Advisory Panel. “The Registry will continue to align its quality measures with CMS to support our patient’s and clients’ current and future needs.”

The Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry enables PTs to make improved, data-informed clinical decisions, track and benchmark outcomes against industry data, and demonstrate the value of physical therapist services to payers and fellow providers. It directly integrates with multiple third-party EHR systems. For more information about the Registry, visit

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