The 2016 version of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) included a number of changes, but the revised diabetes foot exam is especially important to note because it requires more work than the measure it replaced.
The previous measure, “Diabetes: Foot Exam,” asked for a visual inspection of the foot along with a sensory exam using a monofilament and a pulse exam. The new measure, “Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetic Foot and Ankle Care, Peripheral Neuropathy – Neurological Evaluation,” specifies that the sensory exam include a monofilament plus one of the following: vibration using 128-Hz tuning fork, pinprick sensation, ankle reflexed, or vibration perception threshold. This exam only needs to happen once a year, but it is important to document correctly.
In addition, the new measure, with some exceptions, applies to all patients with diabetes over the age of 18. The previous measure covered patients ages 18-75.
Remember, physicians who do not meet PQRS requirements in 2016 face a 2-percent cut in Medicare payments in 2018.
– Amy Mullins, MD, Medical Director of Quality Improvement, American Academy of Family Physicians
Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights," featuring practical, peer-reviewed advice for improving practice, enhancing the patient experience, and developing a rewarding career.