College of American Pathologists to develop Pathologist Quality Registry

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) has announced that it will collaborate with FIGmd to release the Pathologists Quality Registry, the first pathologist-specific clinical data registry in the U.S. The registry is designed to simplify quality reporting requirements established by CAP for pathology practices and create a mechanism to enable practices to comply with the requirements of the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP). It will include 16 measures, eight of which are the existing Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures developed by CAP.

The objective of the registry is to enable pathologists to comply with value-based payment models, such as those enacted as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). CAP has applied to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval of the registry as an authorized QPP reporting option. It will also enable pathologists to benchmark their performance against that of other pathologists.

MACRA and Impact of the Registry

MACRA became law in 2015 and substantially changes how Medicare payments are made to all physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and nurse anesthetists. It established the QPP, which effectively eliminated the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and instead mandates that Medicare payments be based on quality. Pursuant to MACRA, physicians will be paid via one of two methods: Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMS). MIPS offers physicians financial incentives and imposes penalties based on quality, outcomes and efficiencies. It consolidates three existing CMS reporting systems – PQRS, the Value Based Modifier Program, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program – into one system.

The registry is set to launch at the 2017 CAP Annual Meeting, which will be held October 8-11. Importantly, the launch will precede the 2018 MACRA performance period, which will enable pathologists to qualify for payment bonuses under MIPS.

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