Background: Under the Quality Payment Program (QPP), eligible clinicians face payment adjustments determined by their performance in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or choose to participate in the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) track. Those in MIPS see their payments increased, maintained, or decreased based on relative performance in four categories: Quality, Cost, Promoting Interoperability, and Improvement Activities.
Clinicians participating in an Advanced APM are exempt from MIPS and were initially qualified for a 5% bonus payment. However, after the expiration of the 5% bonus, Congress reauthorized the bonus at a reduced rate of 3.5% for the year 2023. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced a new alternative to traditional MIPS known as the MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs), which is a voluntary option for eligible clinicians.
The program continues to evolve at a macro level, as CMS has a vision to move providers out of ‘traditional MIPS’ and into other reporting options such as APP for Shared Savings participants, MVPs for those still in fee for service, and APMs for other provider programs. In addition, CMS continues to pursue the Universal Foundation. Providers need to be prepared for bigger shifts in their quality reporting strategies as CMS aligns programs under the National Quality Strategy.
Below we explore some of the key takeaways from the 2024 PFS Final Rule impacting the QPP program.