The news just came in last night via the official CMS blog, where Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced that the participation rate for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) exceeded its 1st-year goal by 1 percent. The early goal was set at 90 percent for MIPS – one of the two tracks under the CMS’s Quality Payment Program (QPP). Furthermore, the announcement stated that the submission rates for ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations) were recorded at a whopping 98%, while those of clinicians in rural practices were found to be 94%. These figures show the results are truly outstanding. Verma says,
“What makes these numbers most exciting is the concerted efforts by clinicians, professional associations, and many others to ensure high-quality care and improved outcomes for patients.”
Patients Over Paperwork Initiative
Furthermore, these high participation rates show significant progress in the organization’s prime objective “Patients over Paperwork.” A patient over paperwork is an initiative by CMS, launched in November last year. The main idea behind the initiative was to streamline regulations by increasing efficiency, thus improving patients’ care and experience.
Steps are taken through this initiative, according to Verma, resulted in:
- Continued free technical assistance to clinicians in the program.
- The number of clinicians required to participate in the program reduced, thus making it possible for them to give more time to their patients, instead of worrying about lengthy filing requirements.
- Addition of new bonus points for small practitioners, or practitioners who treat complex cases or are using 2015 edition of CEHRT exclusively thus promoting interoperability of health information.
- A higher number of opportunities for healthcare providers to earn positive payment adjustments.
All of these measures helped CMS in achieving the success in its QPP program.
A Look Forward
Finally, Verma expressed CMS’s continued focus on reducing burden in various areas of MIPS, as has been mandated by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. She further articulated her organization’s eagerness to continue its work on improving clinician and patient experience through their “Meaningful Measure Initiative”, instead of focusing on processes.
Now that the 3rd performance year MIPS 2019 has started, CMS expects even more participation than the previous years. Their efforts to minimize administrative burden and address concerns that clinicians highlighted are appreciated throughout.
An Overview of MIPS 2019
For 2019, positive or negative payment adjustment is raised to 7%. Talking in numbers, if medical practice scores well and bills approximately $1,500,000 in Medicare, it can earn up to $1,605,000. The huge money is surely an attraction.
Moreover, this year, the performance threshold is 30 points instead of 15 points. Achieving double the points than last year is quite easy if you use appropriate resources and latest tools.
CMS is stepping up each year for incentive payment program MIPS to make things work out for healthcare organizations. The competition is surely getting tougher, but the expected outcomes/incentives are worth putting efforts for the progressive healthcare industry.
While there is still time for MIPS 2019 data submission period, ensure an impactful performance for MIPS performance categories and report data via a MIPS qualified registry as P3 Healthcare Solutions.