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Dermatology Online Journal

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An Update of Dermatologist Usage of the Physician Quality Reporting System in Colorado for 2011


The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) was established in 2006 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of an incentive process to improve healthcare preventive practices.  As of 2011, there were 235 PQRS measures but only three specific to skin diseases, specifically melanoma. To measure current usage of the PQRS among dermatologists in Colorado, a survey was distributed at the 2011 Colorado Dermatological Society Meeting.  Of the 120 physician attendees, 60 responded, yielding a response rate of 50%.

Compared with responses from a similar 2010 survey, a significantly higher number of physicians are using PQRS, as well as E-prescribing and EHR systems.  This is likely owing to the fact that CMS will require mandatory reporting of these measures in 2015. Respondents from the current survey commented that a major hurdle to PQRS reporting is the inability to submit data through existing EHR or billing systems.  Currently, CMS requires PQRS reporting through a designated registry such as that provided by the AAD. Some practices have opted to report metrics such as tobacco and alcohol screening, since these can be reported through their billing systems. The results suggest structural improvements in the PQRS reporting system could improve compliance.

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