Healthmonix Media Coverage

Pandemic Quality Reporting Eased But Consider Benefits of Sending Data

Posted by Healthmonix on May 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Hospital quality leaders already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic welcomed the decision from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay reporting deadlines for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and not require reporting or use data from the initial pandemic period for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for future payment years.

However, there are important issues to consider as hospitals move forward and regroup in the post-pandemic months. It is possible CMS will offer further extensions, even as far as excluding some quality reporting for all of 2020. CMS delayed the March physician reporting period for a month. If the deadline was scheduled for April or May 2020, providers can choose whether to submit data.

For any MIPS provider that did not submit MIPS data by April 30, 2020, CMS will make a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year, according to guidance posted by CMS. For 2020 reporting data, CMS has said it is looking at options and will make further announcements.

CMS also said data reporting for fourth quarter 2019 (Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019) is optional. Fourth quarter data, if submitted, will be used to determine performance and payment adjustments. If a hospital chooses not to provide fourth quarter data, CMS will assess performance with data from Jan. 1 through Sept. 1, 2019.

CMS also instructed hospitals not to submit data for Jan. 1 through June 30, 2020, for hospital or post-acute care program performance or payment programs. For some types of healthcare organizations, including home health providers and hospice facilities, CMS extended the non-reporting period through Sept. 30, 2020.

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Topics: MACRA & MIPS, Hospitals & Health Systems, COVID-19, Quality Reporting