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CMS Now Accepting CAHPS for MIPS Survey Vendor Applications

CMS is accepting CAHPS for MIPS survey vendor applications tied to the quality performance category.

CMS MIPS survey vendor.

Source: Thinkstock.

By Kate Monica

- CMS is accepting Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) survey vendor applications through the end of April.

As part of the Quality Payment Program, the CAHPS for MIPS survey is an optional quality measure that MIPS participants can administer voluntarily.

The survey measures twelve key domains of a patient’s experience of care, or Summary Service Measures. The 2017 CAHPS for MIPS survey will be administered through a CMS pre-notification letter, two survey mailings, and up to six follow-up phone calls to patients who do not respond to mailed surveys.  

CAHPS would count for survey vendors as a patient experience measure under the quality performance category. CMS also stated MIPS eligible clinicians can earn points in the improvement activities performance category for administering the survey.

“The CAHPS for MIPS survey may only be administered by CMS-approved survey vendors,” the federal agency stated via its listserv. “If you are interested in becoming a CMS-approved CAHPS for MIPS survey vendor you need to review the minimum business requirements and confirm your organization meets these requirements then submit a completed application for consideration. Applications will be processed as they are received and a list of conditionally approved CAHPS for MIPS survey vendors will be made publicly available.”

Additionally, CMS stated approved vendors must take part in a training session and pass a subsequent assessment to gain CMS approval as a CAHPS for MIPS survey vendor.

After submitting the vendor participation application by April 30, vendors with approved participation applications are put on a list of conditionally approved CAHPS for MIPS survey vendors.

The training session consists of an overview and background tutorial of MIPS, information regarding scoring and reporting of the CAHPS for MIPS survey, and a survey sample design and beneficiary selection.

Interested organizations must also submit a quality assurance plan to gain CMS approval as a CAHPS for MIPS survey vendor.

“Approved vendors must follow the procedures and specifications provided by CMS to assure their client’s data will be accepted and to maintain their CAHPS for MIPS approval status,” stated the federal agency on its website. “Approved vendors will participate in additional trainings covering preparation and submission of data files.”

The first MIPS performance period began on the first day of the 2017 calendar year.

Given this is the first year of MIPS reporting, CMS has offered a variety of informative resources for eligible clinicians navigating the federal requirements.

Last week, CMS issued three guides to help eligible clinicians participating in MIPS in 2017.

The MIPS participation fact sheet gives eligible clinicians an overview of which providers should expect to participate in the program, what requirements they need to fulfill, and the procedure for voluntary participation. The fact sheet also offers information specific to clinicians practicing in rural areas and federally qualified health centers.

The second resource CMS provided, the MIPS improvement activities fact sheet, offers guidelines pertaining to the MIPS clinical improvement activities performance category in consideration of this being the first time eligible clinicians will be encountering this category.

Finally, CMS issued a list of MIPS 2017 qualified registries to help providers find a qualified registry that fits their specific practice and can report data for the performance category eligible clinicians are looking to earn points in.

The list provides the contact information, supported performance categories, services offered, and cost of submitting data for each registry. 

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