The Healthmonix Advisor

5 Key Facts You Need to Know for Advancing Care Information (Part 1)

Posted by Lauren Patrick on August 25, 2016


Per the MACRA Quality Payment Final Rule, effective January 1, 2017,
the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) will be folded into the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for Eligible Providers. The successor to Meaningful Use, known as Advancing Care Information, includes fewer measures than the current program (yeah!), intends to provide more flexibility in meeting those criteria, and stresses the use of technology to improve patient care. To help you maximize your performance in this category, we have compiled the top five things you need to know now to prepare for next year.

Advancing Care Information (ACI) is one of four performance categories that will be considered when determining payment adjustments under MIPS. MIPS Eligible Clinicians will receive a score for each individual MIPS performance category. Those scores will then be weighted by category to come up with a MIPS Composite Performance Score (CPS). The ACI category will count for 25% of your MIPS CPS.

1.pngSome MIPS Eligible Clinicians do not have to participate.

In 2017, Physicians, Physician Assistants (PA), Nurse Practitioners (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) will all be considered MIPS eligible. However, of this group, only non-hospital based physicians are required to participate in the ACI category. Participation is considered conditional for NPs, PAs, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and CRNAs. Additionally, Skilled Nursing and similar facilities, are considered ineligible to participate in ACI.

   Advancing Care Information (ACI) Eligible Clinicians                         

MIPS Eligible Clinician
(2017 Performance Year)

Participation Requirement for ACI

Physicians

mandatory

Physician Assistants (PAs)
Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
Clinical Nurse Specialists
Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)
Hospital-Based Clinicians

Optional - If the ACI measures do not apply, ACI performance category will be re-weighted to 0 for the MIPS CPS.

 

2.pngYou get half the credit just for participating.

To receive a full 25 points for the ACI component of the MIPS composite score, you must score 100 points or higher in the ACI Performance Category. Luckily, 50 of these points are awarded simply for minimally participating. These 50 minimal participation points have been referred to as the Advancing Care Information Base Score. 

Advancing Care Information Category Performance Score    

advancing-care-information-scoring.png

For the 2017 performance period, there are only 5 required measures. This is a reduction from the 10 objectives and up to 14 measures that were to be reported under Stage 3 of Meaningful Use for the 2016 performance period.

This base score simply requires that you report the 5 measures, either by an attestation (yes/no) or by reporting the exact performance (numerator/denominator). In the past, providers on the edge of compliance for Meaningful Use have gotten nothing for their efforts because of CMS's "all-or-nothing" approach. The methodology used for the base score calculation is part of their efforts to make the program more rewarding and more fair for new participants.

 

3.pngThe performance period is going to align with the other MIPS Performance Categories.

For Meaningful Use in 2016, organizations demonstrating Meaningful Use for the first time are allowed to report a 90-day continuous period. However, this provision is set to be eliminated with the current edition of the proposed rule in favor of using the same cycle for each performance category.

It is also worth noting that the first two performance years of MIPS will allow for a 90-day reporting period across all performance categories. From the feedback we've heard from our partners, this would certainly be a huge relief to many MIPS eligible clinicians. 

For individualized strategy to optimize your MIPS CPS, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our Value-Based Care Consultants.

Schedule a FREE MIPS Consultation

In part 2, we will conclude this post with the remaining two key facts about the ACI Measures, ACI Performance Score, and possible reporting mechanisms! Subscribe to receive automatic updates when we post new MIPS material. Read Part 2....

Topics: Advancing Care Information, PRO Tips, MACRA, MIPS