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HealthCare News

December 5, 2017

The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Updates for 2018 Have Been Released

 

Patients Over Paperwork 

CMS has recently launched the “Patients Over Paperwork” Initiative, a cross-cutting, collaborative process that evaluates and streamlines regulations with a goal to reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, and improve the beneficiary experience. This effort emphasizes a commitment to removing regulatory obstacles that get in the way of providers spending time with patients. The Quality Payment Program final rule with comment period includes the following as part of this initiative:

   •   Excluding individual MIPS eligible clinicians or groups with less than or equal to $90,000 in Part B allowed charges less than or equal to 200 Part B beneficiaries;
   •   Including virtual groups as another participation option for year 2; 
   •   Making it easier for clinicians to qualify for incentive payments by participating in Advanced APMs that begin or end in the middle of a year. 

 

Quality Payment Program Year 2: MIPS Highlights 

In the Quality Payment Program Year 2, here is how CMS has adopted 2018 policies to further reduce burden and give more ways for eligible professionals (EP) to participate successfully. CMS is keeping many of transition year policies and making some minor changes including: 

  • Raising the performance threshold to 15 points in Year 2 (from 3 points in the transition year); 
  • Allowing the use of 2014 Edition and/or 2015 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) in Year 2, and giving you a bonus for using only 2015 CEHRT;
  • Giving up to 5 bonus points on your final score for treatment of complex patients;
  • Automatically weighting the Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Improvement Activities performance categories at 0% of the final score for clinicians impacted by hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria and other natural disasters;
  • Adding 5 bonus points to the final scores of small practices.

 

More Options for Small Practices will be available for successful participation in Quality Payment Program (QPP).

CMS realizes it can be hard for small practices to participate in the Quality Payment Program, so they are continuing to offer tailored flexibilities for groups of 15 or fewer clinicians including: 

  • Excluding individual MIPS eligible clinicians or groups with less than or equal to $90,000 in Part B allowed charges or less than or equal to 200 Part B beneficiaries. 
  • Adding 5 bonus points to the final scores of small practices. 
  • Giving solo practitioners and small practices the choice to form or join a Virtual Group to participate with other practices. 
  • Continuing to award small practices 3 points for measures in the Quality performance category that do not meet data completeness requirements. 
  • Adding a new hardship exception for the Advancing Care Information performance category for small practices.

 

For more information, please see Quality Payment Program Year 2, Final Rule Overview. 

 

 

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