The Texas Medical Association has heard from physicians who are just now tuning in to the 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) and don’t know where to begin to avoid the 7% Medicare payment penalty in 2021.
If you’re in the same boat, don’t fret, it’s not too late to learn about the QPP – and get free CME credit in the process. Here’s how:
Although we’re less than two months away from the end of the 2019 QPP performance year, physicians have until March 31, 2020, to submit their data. To get started, TMA recommends you first check to see whether you’re required to participate in the QPP this year by using the CMS lookup tool.
If you’re not already participating in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM), you’ll likely default to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) unless you’re exempt.
Physicians who are required to participate can learn about the program and get free CME credit by participating in TMA’s 2019 QPP webinar. This activity offers a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians may also participate in QPP modules recently posted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS’ CME offerings include:
- 2019 QPP Overview – Provides information on the origin and objectives of the program as well as an overview of MIPS and Advanced APMs. 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS Participation in 2019 – Details MIPS eligibility and participation options, including the new opt-in policy, and how to report MIPS data. 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS Quality Performance Category in 2019 – Explains the requirements, data submission and collection types, and scoring for the quality performance category. 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category in 2019 – Provides information on reporting requirements, measures, and reweighting for the promoting interoperability performance category. 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS Improvement Activities in 2019 – Explains the requirements, reporting steps, and scoring for the improvement activities performance category. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS Cost Performance Category in 2019 – Provides information on new measures, attribution, and scoring for the cost performance category. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
- Transitioning to an Advanced APM: 2019 Update – Details the benefits and features of Advanced APM participation, how to prepare to join an Advanced APM, and CMS resources to help with the transition. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- MIPS APMs in 2019 – Provides an overview of MIPS APMs, the benefits of MIPS APM participation, and the reporting criteria. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- Advanced APMs in 2019 – Identifies the different Advanced APMs for the 2019 performance period, details Advanced APM participation and reporting requirements, and provides information on achieving Qualifying APM Participant (QP) status. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
- All-Payer Combination Option in 2019 – Explains the All-Payer Combination Option, criteria for Other Payer Advanced APM participation, and QP determinations under the All-Payer Combination Option. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
You, or your staff, can participate in the QPP modules by logging in to your Medicare Learning Network (MLN) account. If you don’t have one, create a free account here. Once logged in, type “Quality Payment Program” into the search bar at the top of the website to select your 2019 QPP module of choice.
Note that you’ll need a final score of at least 30 points out of 100 MIPS points in 2019 to avoid a payment penalty in 2021. If your practice can’t participate in the promoting interoperability catergory because you don’t have an electronic health record (EHR) system, it’s still possible to hit this 30-point threshold. All you have to do is submit full data for the quality category, such as through a qualified registry or qualified clinical data registry that offers a manual data entry option, and report the full number of required activities for the improvement activities category. You can do this either through a vendor or self-attestation via the QPP portal. No data submission is required for the cost category.
To get started with your data collection process in time for the March 31 deadline, get free QPP guidance and technical assistance by contacting the TMF Health Quality Institute at 844-317-7609 or by email at QPP-SURS@tmf.org. For in-person quality improvement services and tailored practice support to help you succeed in the QPP, contact TMA Practice Consulting.
For general questions, contact the QPP Service Center at 866-288-8292 or by email at QPP@cms.hhs.gov. For complete details, you can find 2019 MIPS and APM resources in the QPP Resource Library.
For more QPP help, visit the TMA MACRA Resource Center.