Yesterday afternoon, CMS released the 2018 Final Rule for the MACRA Quality Payment Program. The rule finalized some changes we were expecting, and others that came as a surprise. The second year of the Quality Payment Program will be more advanced than the first, aiming to get clinicians ready for the even more intense requirements mandated by the MACRA legislation to be enacted in 2019.
To prosper in an industry challenged by constantly changing reform and increasing competition, healthcare organizations must continually increase their quality of care and become more efficient. Reporting MIPS in 2017 is a low-risk, high reward condition to stress-test your clinical workflows for optimized value-based program reporting.
Over the last two weeks, we've shown you how to select quality measures. Now that you've decided which measures to collect data for, it's time to start reporting! If you have reported PQRS in the past, the process will be similar with a few major changes. Eligible clinicians who are new to reporting may want to first check out our article on the basics of quality measures prior to understanding how to completely report a quality measure.
We are now in the seventh month of the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and the majority of MIPS-eligible clinicians still feel completely unprepared for success. With complicated and changing regulations, ensuring compliance can be a long and arduous process. Like most sizable goals, MIPS is best digested in small pieces, but it is hard to tell where to start sometimes. That is why we are going give you an order of operations to follow to ensure MIPS survival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.