Physicians and other eligible professionals (EPs) who did not take action in previous years for Medicare quality reporting programs will see penalties levied in 2015. The 2015 PQRS penalty, based on 2013 performance, is 1.5%. A 1.0% Medicare EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) penalty is likewise based on 2013 performance, or 2014 performance for EPs new to the program that year. For those unsuccessful in avoiding the Medicare electronic prescribing program penalty, the resulting Meaningful Use penalty is 2.0% in 2015. These penalties apply to all of the EPs’ Part B covered professional services under the Medicare physician fee schedule in 2015.

Additionally, as a result of Medicare’s value-based payment modifier (VBPM), groups with at least 100 EPs in 2013 may see their physicians’ 2015 payments adjusted either positively or negatively based on the group’s performance on 2013 quality and resource use metrics. This program is budget-neutral, meaning upward payment adjustments for higher quality and lower costs in some practices will balance the downward adjustments applied for lower quality and higher costs in others.

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