MACRA: Review Your Options for Medicare's New Quality Payment Program

The first performance period for the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs) under the new Medicare Quality Payment Program began on Jan. 1. Review your participation options to avoid payment penalties and to potentially earn bonus payments in 2019.

For the first year of the new program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a "transition year" and offers a pick-your-pace approach to participation along with many flexibilities to allow you to build capabilities to report and gain experience with the new program. For details on participation options for the 2017 performance period and where to find help, read the TMA Five-Step Checklist for MACRA Readiness. Also, read "MACRA: Easing the Pain?" in the January issue of Texas Medicine.  

CMS has recently revised its search tools for each MIPS category and has added several resources to help you better understand the new payment paths. TMA encourages you to visit the new website to explore the MIPS measures and review key information, such as MIPS benchmarks and measure specifications on the education and tools webpage

Measure specifications provide critical details (numerator, denominator, documentation requirements, etc.) for each quality and advancing care information measure, and measure benchmarks determine how many points you may earn for each quality measure. TMA recommends you review this information to help you select the best measures for your practice and patient populations, ensure accurate reporting, optimize performance, and improve your overall MIPS score. 

Additionally, CMS is conducting a study to examine the burdens associated with quality performance data collection and submission processes. Physicians who take part in the study may receive full credit for the MIPS improvement activities category. To learn more about this option, refer to this CMS announcement, and submit your application to CMSCPIAStudy[at]Ketchum[dot]com by Jan. 31. 

For information on how to transition from the 2016 CMS quality programs to the new 2017 MIPS program, register for the Medicare Quality Programs: Transitioning from PQRS to MIPS call, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 1–2:30 pm CT. Visit the TMA MACRA Resource Center to stay up to date on all things MACRA and the new Medicare Quality Payment Program.   

Action, Jan. 17, 2017

Last Updated On

February 07, 2017

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