Alphabet Soup: A MACRA Glossary and Acronym Guide

MACRA: Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

2015 law that repealed the sustainable growth rate formula for determining Medicare payments and created two new performance-based payment tracks: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and alternative payment models.  Read More 

SGR: Sustainable Growth Rate

Former Medicare formula to calculate physician fee-for-service payment rates. Repealed by MACRA. 

MIPS: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

One of two payment tracks under MACRA. MIPS consolidates the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Physician Quality Reporting System, Value-Based Payment Modifier Program, and Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs into one single program starting in 2019. 

APMs: Alternative Payment Models

One of two payment tracks under MACRA. Examples include accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, bundled payment models, and other initiatives. 

PQRS: Physician Quality Reporting System

Medicare program asking physicians to document and report on clinical quality measures. Scores feed into the Value-Based Payment Modifier Program. Read More

VM: Value-Based Payment Modifier

Medicare calculation to adjust physician fee-for-service payments either up or down based on how they perform on quality and cost factors. Read More 

MU: Meaningful Use

Refers to meaningful use of electronic health records, which is the objective of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs. Read More 

CPIA: Clinical Practice Improvement Activity

A new Medicare performance category that may help physicians gain some credit under MIPS. CPIA subcategories are expanded access, population management, care coordination, patient engagement, patient safety and practice assessment, and transition to or participation in an alternative payment model. New rules will define the criteria.   

QCDR: Qualified Clinical Data Registry

An entity approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that collects medical and/or clinical data for the purpose of patient and disease tracking to foster improvement in the quality of care provided to patients. Read More 

CAHPS: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems

Patient satisfaction and experience surveys. Read More 

QRUR: Quality and Resource Use Report

Medicare feedback reports on physicians’ quality and resource use (cost) scores and how their performance compares with that of their peers. Read More


ACO: Accountable care organization

AF: Adjustment factor

APMs: Alternative payment models

CAHPS: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems

CEHRT: Certified electronic health record technology

CHIP: Children’s Health Insurance Program

CMMI: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation

CMS: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CPIA: Clinical practice improvement activity

CQM: Clinical quality measures

EHR: Electronic health record

EIDM: Enterprise Identity Management System

EP: Eligible professional

FFS: Fee-for-service

MACRA: Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

MSPB: Medicare spending per beneficiary

MIPS: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

MPFS: Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

MSSP: Medicare Shared Savings Program

MU: Meaningful use

NPI: National Provider Identifier

PCMH: Patient-centered medical home

PECOS: Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System

PFPM: Physician-focused payment model

PQRS: Physician Quality Reporting System

QCDRs: Qualified clinical data registries

QP: Qualifying alternative payment model participant

QRUR: Quality and Resource Use Report

SGR: Sustainable Growth Rate

TIN: Taxpayer Identification Number

VM: Value-Based Payment Modifier Program


Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Last Updated On

August 19, 2021

Originally Published On

April 22, 2016

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