Ninety-one percent of eligible clinicians participated in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, that figure exceeded the CMS goal of 90 percent participation for 2017.
The participation rates were even higher than average among Accountable Care Organizations and clinicians in rural practices, which participated at 98 percent and 94 percent, respectively. “What makes these numbers most exciting is the concerted efforts by clinicians, professional associations, and many others to ensure high quality care and improved outcomes for patients,” Verma said in a recent blog post.
Of course the bar for participation was set very low for 2017. With CMS’s “Pick Your Pace” option, eligible clinicians could submit quality codes on as little as one claim to count as a successful participator. In 2018, the bar is much higher, including a 12-month performance period for the Quality category. On the other hand, for 2018, CMS has developed policies that continue to “reduce burden, add flexibility, and help clinicians spend less time on unnecessary requirements and more time with patients.” For instance, in 2018, CMS has:
- Reduced the number of clinicians required to participate by increasing the low-volume threshold.
- Added new bonus points for clinicians who are in small practices, treat complex patients, or use 2015 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) exclusively as a means of promoting the interoperability of health information.
- Increased the opportunity for clinicians to earn a positive payment adjustment.
Eligible clinicians who submitted 2017 MIPS data through the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website can access preliminary performance feedback data with their Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) credentials. Final MIPS scores and feedback will be available in July.
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