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CMS Announces MIPS Registration Period for Group Reporting

Starting April 1, groups of eligible clinicians using one of two mechanisms for MIPS reporting can begin the registration process for the 2017 performance period.

CMS MIPS

Source: Thinkstock

- CMS recently announced that groups planning to use its Group Web Interface or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) must register to report 2017 performance data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

With the first MIPS reporting period underway, providers are anxious for guidance on how to comply with requirements and regulations and avoid the payment penalties similar to those assessed under meaningful use programs in the past.

This most recent announcement from CMS clarifies what is required of groups of eligible clinicians using the CMS Web Interface or administering CAHPS as part of MIPS reporting.

While these eligible clinicians are required to register in accordance with MIPS, all other eligible clinicians are exempt.

The registration period for groups required to register began April 1, 2017, and will extend through June 30, 2017.

Eligible clinicians participating as a group receive one payment adjustment for their performance.

“Under MIPS, a group is defined as a single Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) with two or more eligible clinicians (including at least one MIPS eligible clinician), as identified by their National Provider Identifiers (NPI), who have reassigned their billing rights to the TIN,” CMS stated in a eHealth News Update. “Eligible clinicians who participate as a group will be assessed at a group level across all four MIPS performance categories. The group will receive one payment adjustment for the group’s performance.”

In addition, CMS made the distinction that groups participating in a Shared Savings Program ACO do not need to register or report MIPS data as they qualified as part of an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM).

The federal agency also clarified that only groups of a certain size are able to report using the CMS Web Interface.

“For 2017, only groups of 25 or more eligible clinicians that have registered can report via the CMS Web Interface,” CMS stated. “Groups that participate in MIPS through qualified registry, qualified clinical data registry, or electronic health record data submission mechanisms do not need to register. For 2017, only groups of 2 or more eligible clinicians that have registered can participate in the CAHPS for MIPS survey.”

“If you need to remove your registration for Web Interface submission because your group now has fewer than 25 eligible clinicians, you should ‘cancel’ your registration,” CMS added. “If your group wants to administer the CAHPS for MIPS survey, your group will need to make an election via the registration system.”

CMS also reminded MIPS-eligible providers that individuals and group participants do not need to register for any other submission method.

Additionally, the federal agency also announced it has automatically registered all groups for the CMS Web Interface for the 2017 performance period that have already registered for the group reporting under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) through the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) Web Interface in order to ease the process for eligible providers.

Given CMS officials have repeatedly cited 2017 as transition year for providers adjusting to the new payment system, the federal agency seeks to aid providers in adapting to MIPS and Advance APMs as part of the Quality Payment Program as smoothly as possible.

CMS also attempted to mitigate confusion and ease the transition to MIPS for eligible clinicians in a recent presentation at HIMSS17 given by MIPS Policy Developer Leader Molly MacHarris detailing how MIPS scoring will be measured for each performance category.

CMS has included on its website information regarding how to register to use the CMS Web Interface in 2017. In the near future, CMS will also be hosting webinars further explaining group reporting and registration for CMS Web Interface and CAHPS for MIPS Survey. 

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