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CMS announces QPP MIPS reporting Relaxations for 2020

The last few months have been tough for the healthcare industry. All stakeholders were trying desperately to assist each other and save resources for COVID-19 response.  Of course, meanwhile, CMS also took necessary measures to unburden some of the clinicians’ load.

Where physicians have already burned out with COVID -19 cases, the administrative burden of QPP MIPS 2020 was additional pressure. The dynamics have changed. The contact points that were easily accessible before are now operational via online mediums.

Thus, eligible clinicians and MIPS Qualified Registries can take benefit from it and serve effortlessly to the patients.

At first, CMS requested clinicians to impede elective medical procedures. In simple terms, it means to delay diagnostic procedures or treatments that don’t qualify for emergency conditions.

The process of offering flexibilities continues for the QPP MIPS.

Relaxations for the QPP MIPS 2020

CMS states that the eligible clinicians who are significantly impacted by the public health emergency can apply for Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances to reweight any of the four or all MIPS performance categories.

However, they are required to submit a solid explanation for the impact on their medical practice.

A COVID-19 clinical Improvement Activity under MIPS is also introduced by the CMS.  Eligible clinicians can obtain outcomes via:

  • Participating in a COVID-19 clinical trial Improvement Activity and submit data into a data platform
  • Participating in the healthcare of COVID-19 infectees and submit patients’ data to Clinical Data Registry for research

As physicians are busy battling against coronavirus pandemic, CMS has decided to not use data reflecting from January 1st to June 30th, 2020 for the Medicare Quality Reporting and value-based purchased programs. These measures are taken to give advantage to eligible physicians to some extent as to minimize the administrative burden incurred during data collection and management. A lot of time and investment can be saved, henceforth.

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P3 Investigates: Trump Administration Plans to Reopen Nursing Homes

P3, as a medical billing service and a MIPS Qualified Registry, keeps in touch with CMS news as it happens. CMS, yet again, informs the public of the plans, the government has for nursing homes to reopen safely with the pandemic still around. While state and local officials follow it to ensure safe beginnings for nursing homes across the country, they are a part of President Trump’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

Why were the restrictions put in the first place? The government had to take stern action against nursing homes and put them under quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including severe infection prevention, ample testing, and investigation.

This plan that the government has come up with will be a guide through troubling times as life gets back to normal for nursing homes.

When stats suggest that 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths are of citizens 65 and above, the more careful we are the better. We owe it to the seniors of this country more than we owe it to anyone else.

By acting upon this guide, nursing homes will be able to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and prevent its spread within facilities.

In light of these issued recommendations, states should observe if nursing homes are taking the appropriate and necessary steps to ensure resident safety; moreover, they should know the right time when to reopen doors to the public.

In finality, the information you find here should support states and nursing homes bring families together, reunite them with their loved ones in a gradual manner.

Administrator Seema Verma has led from the front during the crisis; this time, she said and I am paraphrasing it; the coronavirus has had a shocking impact on our nursing homes, and as we reopen the country, we want to be sure that we are doing everything in our power to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

She continued by saying that their constant focus is on the protection and quality of life of the nursing home residents. While we reach the stage when we finally reopen, she said, we want to make sure that the communities have a set strategy moving forward.

Further, CMS recommends additional criteria for the safety of the nursing home residents since COVID-19 poses a direct threat to them as the country passes through the reopening phase. It is to complement the Trump Administration’s broader idea of the Reopening of America Again.

A nursing home, as part of the recommendation, must not advance through phases of reopening until all residents and staff have received their baseline test results.

CMS wants state survey agencies to keep an eye on nursing homes if they suffered from a serious COVID-19 outbreak before reopening.

As its final recommendation, CMS states that homes should remain in the highest state of restriction even if they see relaxation in the community around them, to ensure the preservation of lives.

Moving on, nursing homes will start taking in visitors in phase three, which will only occur when health reports show considerably less COVID-19 cases. Visitors must go through screening and wear a face-covering during the visit.

The guidance was released a couple of days back on May 18, 2020, but we thought by revisiting the recommendations, we can make a difference. P3, as QPP MIPS 2020 reporting registry, has considered it an honor to go the distance for the health of US citizens; this, specifically, goes out to seniors to whom we are grateful.

State leaders in collaboration with local health departments and state survey agencies would implement the guidance to limit COVID-19 exposure in nursing homes. Relaxation of the intense measures in a nursing home should only occur after a careful review of the following factors:

  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the local community
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes
  • Available staff members
  • Baseline tests of all residents; weekly tests of all staff members; social distancing; face coverings
  • Presence of enough personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Nearby hospital’s capacity

State and local leaders have a responsibility to see to these factors now and then and adjust their strategies accordingly, depending on the intensity of coronavirus spread in their vicinity. CMS is committed to taking measures that ensure the safety and revival of nursing homes.