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CMS Details Quality Payment Program Technical Assistance

CMS recently published a list of technical assistance resources to help eligible clinicians participate in the Quality Payment Program.

CMS Quality Payment Program

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- CMS recently issued a guide of technical assistance resources clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) can use to navigate one of its two pathways successfully.

The list of free resources gives clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) track insight from organizations offering hands-on training and support for various kinds of health organizations.

Small, underserved, and rural hospitals have the opportunity to work with 11 organizations providing hands-on training and support for practices comprised of 15 or less clinicians.

Eligible clinicians in practices of this size are encouraged to find whichever organization has a location nearest their practice. CMS ensures all participating organizations are equipped with the necessary experience to be of assistance.

“Practices in rural locations, health professional shortages areas (HPSAs), and medically underserved areas (MUAs) will be helped first,” the federal agency noted.

Organizations able to help small, underserved, and rural hospitals provide coverage for practices in every state in the country including Alaska.

The guide also provides clinicians resources for quality innovation networks and quality improvement organizations (QIN-QIOs).

 “If you’re in a large practice of more than 15 clinicians, we have 14 knowledgeable QIN-QIOs around the country ready to give you direct technical support,” stated the federal organization.

Additionally, CMS is offering clinicians information on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI).

“TCPI helps you and more than 140,000 other clinicians to share, adapt, and develop comprehensive quality improvement strategies,” stated CMS. “If you participate in the program, you’ll be able to learn about MIPS and how to successfully move toward participating in APMs and Advanced APMs.”

To get assistance as part of the program, clinicians need to first enroll with a Practice Transformation Network (PTN).

A PTN functions as a peer-based learning network pairing clinicians with other professionals in the field through a kind of mentorship program.

The learning system setup promotes the development of core competencies within physician practices allowing for a practice transformation.

However, clinicians will need to carry their weight for the TCPI to provide optimal benefits. Participants will only get as much out of the program as they put into it.

“Please understand you’ll have to commit time and data to TCPI,” CMS advised. “Additionally, if you participate in TCPI, your PTN will provide you with Quality Payment Program support and you will not need to work with the QIN-QIOs or SURS.”

Clinicians participating in an alternative payment model will also have the opportunity to improve their practices through engaging with a learning system.

“If you’re in an APM, our Learning Systems can help you find focused information about what you need to do to achieve success in the Advanced APM track,” stated CMS. “If you’re in an APM that is not an Advanced APM, and you are included in MIPS and required to participate, the Learning Systems will answer your APM-related questions, but the QIN-QIOs or SURS can provide you with MIPS help based on practice size.”

Finally, CMS provided eligible clinicians a toll free number for a call center available to answer any further questions regarding the Quality Payment Program.

With these newest resources, CMS intends to offer clinicians the assistance necessary to ensure a smooth transition into the Quality Payment Program under MACRA.

This guide follows a series of three CMS MIPS resources issued last month similarly designed to offer eligible clinicians information to simplify MIPS reporting in 2017. 



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