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Healthcare Red Tape Of The Week: PQRI

How has the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) been going? Some insights are offered from an internist in the trenches, (the only 1 of 20 physicians in his practice who was able to figure out how to comply with the PQRI rules), The Happy Hospitalist:

I found out today many docs may not have qualified because of the way the government PQRI computers crunched the data (imagine that). You see, if my quality indicator was for antiplatelet use in stroke, and I submitted to CMS stroke as the 4th ICD code, along with three comorbid conditions ( like DM, COPD, CAD), unless I submitted stroke as diagnosis #1, PQRI would reject my submission. So CMS accepts your E&M code with stroke listed as the 4th diagnosis to get paid, but when that claim makes it to the PQRI folks, because stroke was diagnosis #4 and not diagnosis#1, PQRI would reject the submission and doctors all over this country were dinged for not reporting on 80% of qualified patients…

I also found out that PQRI indicator #36 calls for rehab ordered for all “intracranial” hemorrhage. During my meeting today I found out that the only ICD codes linked to this quality indicator are “intracerebral” hemorrhage. Sub dural bleeds, which are intracranial, are excluded. So are subarachnoids. They have problems even defining what they are trying to measure.

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