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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Advancing Care Information (ACI) Performance Category is Meaningful Use updated to be more flexible, customizable, flexible and focused on patient engagement and interoperability. ACI is worth 25% of your MIPS Composite Performance Score.
The Quality Performance Category is one of four Performance Categories to be reported for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Carrying the highest weight of the four Performance Categories, the Quality Score will determine 60% of the MIPS Composite Performance Score for eligible clinicians or groups.