The Healthmonix Advisor

Christina Zink

Christina Zink is a content author and editor at Healthmonix. She has passion for healthcare quality improvement, especially when working with disadvantaged patient populations. This fuels her industry coverage of the upcoming shift to value-based care.
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Recent Posts

2018 MIPS Proposed Rule: Performance Category Updates

Posted by Christina Zink on June 22, 2017

The 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule suggests significant changes to MIPS reporting. The changes proposed are aimed at easing the burden of reporting while increasing the meaningfulness of compliance. We have previously discussed new policies being introduced and changes compared to 2017 reporting. The 2018 proposed rule also suggests changes to the MIPS Performance Categories.

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

2018 MIPS Proposed Rule: Changes from 2017

Posted by Christina Zink on June 22, 2017

The 2018 MIPS Proposed Rule was just released by CMS, and it contains changes from the 2017 rule which providers may benefit from considering in relation to their reporting goals and strategies. In our last post we outlined various new proposals as well as new opportunities for bonus points in the MIPS final score. Here we clarify further changes from 2017, including updates on the low volume threshold, submission options, and the minimum performance period.

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

2018 MIPS Proposed Rule Now Available

Posted by Christina Zink on June 21, 2017

Yesterday afternoon, CMS posted CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program to the Federal Register, to be officially published at the end of this month. Many clinicians are still trying to wrap their heads around how to report MIPS in 2017. However, the release of the 2018 proposed rule is advantageous as aid deciding what to conquer in 2017, and which aspects of MIPS can be digested in the future. As the title suggests, this document also covers other Quality Payment Program tracks, like Advanced APMs. As the vast majority of healthcare providers are expected to be participating in MIPS for 2017 and 2018, we are just going to focus on the MIPS component of the proposed rule for now.

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

Experiences in Transitioning from PQRS to MIPS

Posted by Christina Zink on June 8, 2017

With the beginning of June came the half-way point for the first year of MIPS reporting. While many providers haven't started reporting yet, a good number of clinicians have started early. We interviewed clinicians and practice administrators who have reported PQRS in the past via registry, are currently reporting through the MIPSPRO registry, and that represent a diverse demographic of MIPS eligible clinicians. 

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

Selecting and Scoring MIPS Improvement Activities

Posted by Christina Zink on June 2, 2017

The Improvement Activities Performance Category of MIPS is the the newest quality improvement initiative from CMS. Reporting this category is relatively simple, entailing only that eligible clinicians or groups attest to completing between one and four out of 92 pre-selected improvement activities. Selecting Improvement Activities and understanding how the impact your MIPS final score can be tricky.  Luckily, it doesn't have to be! 

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

The Absolute Minimum Required for MIPS Success

Posted by Christina Zink on May 26, 2017

During the first year of MIPS, it is deceptively easy to avoid the penalty. In a CMS blog post released a few weeks before the final rule was published, the Acting Administrator for CMS, Andy Slavitt, announced that there would be MIPS pacing options to allow eligible clinicians to ease into the program. The most basic level of reporting, referred to sometimes as the MIPS Test Option, is so simple to complete that it absolutely seems to good to be true. 

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

How to Report MIPS as a Group

Posted by Christina Zink on May 19, 2017

One of the trickiest aspects of the new CMS Quality Payment Program is understanding how to report MIPS as a group. MIPS group reporting is when a TIN of 2 or more providers decides to report their MIPS measures and activities on the group (TIN) level, rather than on the individual (TIN+NPI) level. This could be an advantage to a practice that has a few providers who struggle to find measures that are relevant to them personally, or a practice exercising the "test option" of MIPS reporting for 2017. Eligible Clinicians must report either individually or as a group consistently across all MIPS performance categories.

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

CMS Releases Additional Tools for MIPS

Posted by Christina Zink on May 12, 2017

The first performance year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is well underway. One of the most marked differences between MIPS and previous CMS initiatives is the quality of educational resources available to eligible clinicians. However, wading through all the different documents can be confusing if you are just starting out. This article will walk you through the available resources for each step of your MIPS educational journey.

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, MIPS

Trumpcare 2.0 Passes Through the House of Representatives

Posted by Christina Zink on May 5, 2017

House Republicans narrowly passed their long-promised Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement bill this Thursday. The American Healthcare Act barely scraped by with a vote of 217-213, with all 2017 "yes" votes coming from Republican Representatives. Although 20 Republican Representatives still opposed the bill, the revisions were able to convert 23 hard line conservatives into voting favorably. This proved enough for passage.

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Topics: Trumpcare, The American Healthcare Act, AHCA

Roadmap to Improvement Activities

Posted by Christina Zink on April 20, 2017

The Improvement Activities Performance Category is a new concept introduced by MIPS reporting and rewards eligible clinicians for participating in activities related to their patient population. Clinicians and groups can choose to participate in activities most relevant to both their practice and patient population. The Improvement Activities Performance Category is worth 15% of the MIPS Composite Performance Score in 2017.

Download your Free MIPS Roadmap!

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Topics: MACRA and MIPS, Improvement Activities, MIPS