In year two of MIPS and beyond, CMS is including an Improvement score for Quality and Cost measures. This week we take a deep dive into what this score entails, as well as what you need to know to keep yours ahead of the curve.
With the first performance year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) drawing to a close, you may have just started getting accustomed to how MIPS reporting works. Although the 2018 MACRA final rule introduced changes to how MIPS performance data should be captured for the upcoming performance year, it may be a relief to hear that largely the changes just build upon the existing 2017 regulations.
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.
CMS is worried about how few providers understand or are even aware of MACRA. As we near October 2nd, the deadline by which 400,000 eligible providers must start tracking data in order to avoid a financial penalty in 2019, CMS has found that around 40% of clinicians and even fewer nurse practitioners have a solid understanding of the requirements. Their concern is only supported by a recent Integra Connect survey which finds that most specialty physicians have not yet made the operational changes necessary to succeed in the new world of value based care.
Statistically, you aren’t sure how you’re supposed to comply with quality reporting requirements this year. As late as June 2017, the majority of providers were still unfamiliar or only somewhat familiar with MACRA; only 9 percent described themselves as “very familiar”. But unless you’re a part of that 9 percent, we highly recommend that you take some time ASAP to familiarize yourself with the requirements and to make a plan for the rest of the year. And as part of that plan, here are four reasons why we recommend that you select Improvement Activities for your practice today (yes, literally today):
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.
In our last post, we covered some of the basic questions you should be asking yourself when choosing quality measures to report under MIPS. In part two of this series, we go over a few more specific questions that can help guide you to picking the best measures for your practice.
So you’re a MIPS-eligible clinician (if you’re not sure about your participation status, check out our post about how to find out), and you don’t want your practice to miss out on the reimbursement you know you deserve. But how should you decide which quality measures to actually report to CMS? How can you know if the measures you’re choosing will ultimately lead to reporting success, and is there a way to use those measures to not just fulfill the requirements but actually improve your practice? We’ve put together a two-part post to guide you through the most important factors to consider when deciding what might be best for you and your practice. First, the basics:
The shift from volume to value-based care can be frustrating, especially when the reasons behind such a significant change aren’t clear. But with an estimated 250,000 American deaths per year caused by medical errors, minimizing these errors is a noble and vital effort. Additionally, CMS is now raising the bar for healthcare providers with the assessment of quality metrics against benchmarks and peers. With that in mind, let’s break down the meaning of, and intentions behind, Quality Measures.