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MGMA Urges CMS Release 2018 MIPS Eligibility Information

Informing clinicians about their MIPS eligibility status is crucial to reducing clinician burden, MGMA stated.

2018 MIPS

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) recently submitted a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, requesting CMS release 2018 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligibility information.

The association also urged CMS to immediately release information about exemptions for practices that fall under the low-volume threshold, as well as practices with special status as non-patient-facing or hospital-based.

“Contrary to MGMA’s recommendation to maintain 90-day reporting for the quality component of MIPS, in final regulations CMS chose to quadruple the 2018 MIPS quality reporting period from 90 to 365 days and mandate full-year quality reporting beginning Jan. 1,” noted MGMA.

“This decision requires immediate action by physician practices,” added the association.

MGMA expressed concern that physicians still do not have basic MIPS eligibility information despite the Quality Payment Program (QPP) reporting period beginning nearly two weeks ago.

“For medical group practices that manage reporting for dozens or even hundreds of clinicians under the program, this information is vital to the complex clinical and administrative coordination necessary to participate in MIPS,” maintained MGMA.

CMS published the 2018 QPP final rule in November 2017. After taking stakeholder feedback into consideration, CMS included policies to reduce administrative burden for providers and better support clinicians in small and rural practices.

The second year of QPP also contains modified transition year rules to ensure gradual program implementation.

“MGMA supports CMS’ goal of reducing clinician burden and believes equipping physician groups with clear and timely MIPS program information is essential toward that aim,” wrote MGMA.

“We urge the agency not to repeat the delays of 2017, during which eligibility notifications were release in late April,” concluded the association.

CMS has made several efforts recently to streamline data reporting for providers and ensure meeting federal reporting requirements is easier for clinicians than it has been in past years.

Earlier this month, CMS announced eligible clinicians participating in QPP will use a new system to submit 2017 performance data. The new system eliminates the need for eligible clinicians to log onto multiple sites to submit data and offers providers a one-stop submission portal.

The new system also allows eligible clinicians to track their scores in each MIPS performance category in real-time. CMS hopes to help QPP participants identify underperforming measures and highlight issues with data sooner rather than later by offering clinicians automatic feedback and scoring. 

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