CMS Paid $503M in E-Prescribing, PQRS Incentives in 2012

April 7, 2014 in News

In 2012, CMS paid about $503 million through its Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing incentive programs, according to an agency report, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/4).

Details of Incentive Payments

In the e-prescribing incentive program, CMS officials found that:

  • 227,447 eligible professionals qualified for e-prescribing incentive payments in 2012, a 31% increase from 2011;
  • More than $335 million was paid out in e-prescribing incentive payments in 2012; and
  • The average e-prescribing incentive payment in 2012 was $1,474 per eligible professional and $6,095 per eligible physician practice.

In the PQRS incentive program, the report found that:

  • 367,228 eligible professionals qualified for a PQRS incentive payment in 2012, a 38% increase from 2011 (CMS report, 3/14);
  • More than $167 million was paid in PQRS incentive payments in 2012; and
  • The average PQRS incentive payment in 2012 was $457 for an individual eligible professional and $5,736 for an eligible physician practice.


According to the report, growth in the two programs in 2012 “supported continued progress toward the CMS goals of promoting quality measure reporting for Medicare beneficiaries and alignment across quality measure reporting programs” (FierceEMR, 4/4).

In a release, Patrick Conway — CMS’ chief medical officer and deputy administrator for innovation and quality — said the incentive programs “reached new records” in 2012, adding, “CMS is in the beginning stages of adding this information to the Physician Compare website, which can be viewed by patients” (CMS release, 4/3).

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