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MIPS 2020, MIPS 2019, MIPS Medicare, Mips submission methods, MIPS submission types, Mips qualified registry, Qualified registry for mips, Cms mips quality measures, MIPS consultants, Mips consulting service, medical billing services, health IT

MIPS Quality Measures 2019 Vs. 2020 – Registry Investigates

Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has entered 2020, and, so have the Quality, Promoting Interoperability (PI), Improvement Activities (IAs), and Cost categories. It is a no-brainer to write a thoughtful comparison between the two years regarding MIPS quality measures.

Hence, we are here to discuss the Quality category in detail; the six measures adding up to the final score; any new requirements; and why P3 Healthcare Solutions is a smart choice to report registry-specific measures.

It’s not about the passing years that we have managed to make it to the next year of value-based care, but the essence of MIPS in Medicare lies in its delivery. Each year calls upon MIPS eligible clinicians to adopt a certain set of measures and activities and report them to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 2020 is no different as long as you are on the right track of submission.

The reporting occurs through legitimate submission methods only, the result of which conforms to performance evaluation and incentive payments.

 MIPS Quality Measures 2019 and 2020 – The Types

I have to admit there are more similarities than differences between the two, because, for starters, they have the same collection (measure) types.

In MIPS 2019 and MIPS 2020, participants get to submit 6 quality measures data for 12 months (from January 1 to December 31, 2019, and January 1 to December 31, 2020, respectively). The amount of data to undergo submission depends on the collection (measure) type.

CMS finalized 6 collection types for both 2019 and 2020 CMS MIPS Quality measures. These measure types include:

  • Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs)
  • MIPS Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs)
  • Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) measures
  • CMS web interface
  • Medicare Part B claims measures, and
  • The CAHPS for MIPS survey

As a rule, participants must submit a total of six quality measures from the above types.

General Reporting Requirements Vary

If you talk about 2019, the data completeness factor was 60%, i.e. clinicians were to report performance data for 60% of their patients eligible for a chosen measure. For MIPS 2020, clinicians are required to report data for 70% of their patients eligible for a certain measure. It is 10% more than the last year which means CMS plans to cover a wider population of patients and bring them into the fold of value-based care.

 MIPS Submission Types

In the case of MIPS submission types, there are 4 ways to submit quality measures. These include:

  • Medicare Part B claims
  • Sign in and upload (a MIPS consulting service can report on your behalf)
  • CMS web interface
  • API submission which is the direct method of submission

Six Measures

A total of six quality measures was the requirement back in 2019, and in 2020, it hasn’t changed much. We have a total of six MIPS quality measures in 2020 as well. It includes one outcome measure, but in case, the outcome measure is absent, go for a high-priority measure instead.

Practices, groups, and virtual groups with 16 or more clinicians will be automatically calculated on a 7th measure, the All-Cause Hospital Readmission Measure.

The Curious Case of Bonus Points

Bonus points sound charming enough to know more about their details. Therefore, we will try to find out how to make those bonus points ours and maximize our rewards in 2021 and 2022.

For MIPS Quality measures 2019 and 2020, you can earn bonus points on the following terms.

  • Submit 2 or more outcomes or high-priority measures. It doesn’t apply to the outcome measure or high-priority measure that is already there, but two separate measures are required to get your hands on bonuses. P3, as a MIPS consulting service, reports Quality measures for its clients across the US. Opioid-related measures are part of the high-priority measures list.
  • In MIPS 2020, measures that are part of the CMS web interface don’t qualify for bonuses, but if you report the CAHPS for MIPS along with the CMS web interface, you have a chance to win bonuses.
  • Submission using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT)
  • Besides, six additional points are there for small practices that submit at least one quality measure. Practices include individuals, groups, and virtual groups.
  • 10 additional points for practices that exhibit improvement in their Quality reporting from the previous year.

Conclusion

Before I end this article, I want you to stay illuminated by the present and the future requirements of reporting as long as you have us on your side. P3 Healthcare Solutions prides itself on reporting MIPS for clinicians across the United States. To get in touch, please call 1-844-557-3227.

We have a comprehensive piece written on MIPS 2020 on our LinkedIn page. If you have some questions related to it, you may go through it when you have some time. Here’s the link to it: Getting to know the changes in MIPS 2020 ahead of time.

MIPS 2019, MIPS 2020, MIPS Qualified Registry, MIPS Quality measures, MIPS consulting firms, Medical billing

Reimbursement Trends of 2020: MIPS Vs. Fee for Service

As we enter the year 2020, reimbursement challenges also enter another phase. They are getting more and more complex for independent physicians with each passing year. The reasons for this complexity are the ever-changing reporting requirements from regulatory authorities like the CMS, and the differences in contracts among commercial insurance companies.

First, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2020 poses a new set of requirements for clinicians. Second, Insurance companies, in general, require more and more data to draft patient outcomes.

So, there is not one, but two pressures inherited by clinicians as they step into the New Year.

When we talk about the Quality Payment Program (QPP), some new Advanced Payment Models (APMs) are in the development phase regarding Primary Care. Based on them, the decisions that doctors make today can directly reflect on their future revenue.

Let’s see some of those reimbursement trends now.

CMS Focuses on Primary Care

In 2020, CMS sets the same E/M coding requirements for office and outpatient E/M activity as the American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Team. The four levels of E/M codes remain intact for new patients, and 5 levels for regular patients.

Another slight change occurs in the conversion factor for Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) which increases from $36.04 to $36.09. This factor isn’t expected to grow to a greater extent in the next six years.

According to Andres Gilberg, Senior Vice President Government Affairs, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), the reason for this slight increase is due to the lack of adoption of MIPS and APM by clinicians at the pace Congress wanted when it sanctioned MACRA.

Clinicians concerning MIPS in 2020 face serious penalty consequences for not reporting MIPS 2020. They won’t be able to get away with it if they don’t participate resulting in a 9% deduction from their yearly Medicare payments.

MIPS 2019 reporting determines the potential bonus percentage to be 1.65.

To state a strategy that will work, I’d advise clinicians to report MIPS Quality measures in 2020 to come out as a winner in 2022.

APMs Expected to Increase in Number

CMS intended MIPS to lead into APMs eventually, resulting in less reporting burden and a seamless system of financial incentives. However, the number of APMs needs to increase. There was a notion that CMS would revert to fee-for-service and reset the payment model. But that didn’t happen, and we are stuck with MIPS.

Conclusively, we need to have more APMs to accommodate the growing number of clinicians. As a MIPS Qualified Registry, P3Care speaks for and on behalf of clinicians to value their unconditional and invaluable service to the people of the United States.

Private Insurance Companies Push for Quality

To show compliance and participate in value-based care systems, private payers continue to pay more attention to outcomes. It is not expected to change in 2020. What the Quality Payment Program has done is that it has increased the risk-sharing capability of the healthcare industry. Consequently, there is never a dull moment with value-based care.

Additionally, provider networks will expand to bring in-home care, pharmacy, and other fields categorically. Thus, changing the whole outlook in a meaningful way. In the past, it used to include inpatient, outpatient, and primary care areas only.

Private payers looking up to Medicare reimbursement models, as a result, pay attention to patient access, engagement, cost, and quality measures. If doctors are doing all of that they would be on the A-list of providers.

By examining closely what the doctors are doing to their patients, private payers will decide to keep the provider or cancel their contract altogether. For instance, if they are sending their patients to a far-away imaging center only because it is in their health plan, they won’t go unnoticed by payers for long. Insurance companies are allowed to terminate their contracts in such instances without prior notice, as United Health has done in the past.

Those who do exceptionally well and create a better patient experience are bound to get special invites from provider organizations tagged with bonuses as a reward.

Smaller Practices to Face Payment Difficulties

Mergers are likely to continue in healthcare as payers find cost-effective ways to navigate value-based care. You see, larger organizations have the power to provide better infrastructure to follow MIPS 2020 requirements. In comparison, smaller practices have a lesser chance to comply with what the program requires.

Nevertheless, bigger systems have other issues to deal with. As more and more physicians join mega hospitals and provider networks, getting them to follow QPP guidelines and execute coordinated care are two of the challenges they face.

Therefore, you focus on either fee-for-service model or value-based care because if you do both incentives won’t match with one another.

The next threat to small practices is the rise of retail clinics. A retail clinic is a doctor’s office at the shopping mall where you can get primary care services instantly. You are looking at revolution so to speak. For now, experts are unsure of the affect retail clinics will have on reimbursement rates, so it’s a waiting game from here on. Comment below and share your thoughts if you’d like to.

To show you a list of top MIPS consulting firms, we wrote an article titled – Top 3 MIPS Consulting Services in the U.S.

MIPS 2019, MIPS 2019 reporting, MIPS & MACRA, MIPS in healthcare, Quality payment program 2019

5 Key Takeaways from the Quality Payment Program by Year’s End

Before we go into the details, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) comes under the direct obligation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the law that regulates the incentive program across the US.

Eligible clinicians who have a responsibility to report MIPS 2019 include physicians, osteopathic practitioners, chiropractors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered dietitians or nutritionists among others. They have to fulfill the low-volume threshold to qualify for MIPS 2019 reporting apart from their assigned job in healthcare.

MIPS in healthcare gauges a clinician’s performance in terms of care delivery and reduced expenses. In this article, we come to an understanding of five key elements that have surfaced as a result of this program. This data correlates with the preliminary data findings released by CMS on July 11, 2019.

  1. Two Branches for Positive Payment Adjustments

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) 2019 branches out into MIPS and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). Which branch to choose is at the disposal of clinicians, clinician groups, and virtual groups. However, MIPS & MACRA go side by side making it the next famous incentive branch after the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

The system divides into four performance categories such as Quality, Promoting Interoperability (PI), Improvement Activities (IA), and Cost. Each category has certain measures that have to be reported through a MIPS Qualified Registry, CMS Web Interface, EHR, or Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). Not to forget, there is another catch to it in the form collection types which are the actual measures according to their submission systems.

  1. Participation Level Increases Each Year

Since the start of the program in 2017, the participation level has gradually increased. The program showed an increase from 95% in 2017 to 98% in 2018. And, MIPS 2019 is only going to give us more eligible clinicians participating in it. The whole program suggests progression with higher participation levels across the country.

  1. Small Practices Clinician Participation Status

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), 90 percent of clinicians from small practices engaged in MIPS 2018 which was 81 percent in 2017.

The primary flexibilities introduced in the Physician Fee Schedule rule for the 2018 performance year included an increase in Medicare patient count and Medicare Part B allowed charges which meant fewer clinicians from small practices would be eligible to report MIPS in 2018. However, they decided to report it anyway. It also goes to show that the system has adjusted itself with the practitioners’ convenience.

It was mentioned in a blog post by Seema Verma, Administrator CMS on July 11, 2019.

  1. Advanced APMs Are Not Far Behind

Alternative Payment Model (APM) participation level isn’t far behind that of MIPS. CMS reports twice an increase of participants in 2018 as compared to 2017. There were 99,076 total participants in 2017, while the number doubled to 183,306 in 2018. This sudden jump was attributed to new participation opportunities in 2018, especially through ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Even if we are out there to condemn this program, I can’t see any downside to these opportunities and hope they continue for clinicians.

  1. Spectacular Results So Far

The program collects incentives for the participating clinicians year after year, but the payout occurs one year after the performance year. For example, the payout for MIPS 2017 happened in 2019 in which 93 percent of the participants received positive payment adjustments.

Similarly, MIPS 2018 participants will receive a payout in 2020 which is almost here. CMS reports that 97 percent of the clinicians will be the owner of positive payment adjustments in 2020 based on their performances in 2018.

P3 Healthcare Solutions, Ontario, CA keeps an eye on what goes around as the MIPS performance period 2019 enters the final stages.

MIPS reporting in 2019, Physical Therapist, MIPS meaningful use, healthcare system, Quality Payment Program, QPP, MIPS Qualified Registry, Medicare & Medicaid Services, Healthcare Solutions, CMS

A Guide to MIPS 2019 Reporting for Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are included as one of the groups of healthcare practitioners eligible for MIPS reporting in 2019. It was time their duties were rewarded with an open heart and a clear head. Physical therapy is a serious branch of medicine that, now, comes in the quality circle of the government where physical therapists (PTs) can receive incentives based on their performances. Moreover, MIPS measures relevant to their line of work highlight the broader spectrum of the US healthcare system.

Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), as some of the PTs must already know, is where the disadvantaged gets rewarded equally as one with advantages. By advantages, I mean those clinicians who have to face geographical constraints or practices working in the countryside where there are fewer facilities as compared to ones in the city.

So, a system that speaks of justice is a system that works for people everywhere in the world.

MIPS is a combination of programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Meaningful Use (MU) program and the Value-Based Modifier (VBM). Promoting interoperability (PI) category correlates with the MIPS meaningful use.

The four categories in which the performance of clinicians and clinician groups are measured are –

  • Quality,
  • Promoting Interoperability (PA),
  • Improvement Activities (IA),
  • And, Cost

Generally, PTs will only be scored in two categories in 2019 – Quality and Improvement Activities. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) participates actively in every provision of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

MIPS 2019 Reporting for Physical Therapy Made Easy by P3Care

With the pre-designed MIPS 2019 reporting packages in the form of MIPS Essentials, MIPS Budget Neutral and Benchmark MIPS, P3 Healthcare Solutions is tailor-made for it. Doctors falling across various specialties, now, adopt one of these packages to report data. Their MIPS final scores in the 80s and 90s are a clear manifestation of the efficiency of P3 Healthcare Solutions.

Give it a try by talking to us at this number: 1-844-557-3227.

Being a MIPS Qualified Registry gives us an edge to report with consistency and data completeness. The latter qualifies as one of the factors judging the quality of data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Deadline

Another important factor that keeps us on the edge of our seats is deadlines. In this case, Physical Therapists (PTs) can report MIPS measures until December 21 as far as improvement activities are concerned. However, the submission of Quality occurs all over the year, P3 Healthcare Solutions, Ontario, CA has done it in the past and continues to report MIPS Quality measures for eligible clinicians year after year.

Submission deadlines vary according to the submission types. For those who undergo MIPS claims-based reporting in 2019, the claims must get processed “no later than 60 days after the performance year ends”. Groups using the CMS web interface option have to submit within 8 weeks after the performance year. The time window for this 8-week reporting opens from January 2 to March 31.

As a general rule, participants must submit measures before March 31 of the year after the performance year.

MIPS Consulting Services with Results

Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are three crucial branches of health care. All of them can make use of P3Care to report MIPS performance categories, score high, and get a chance at incentives. That’s right. Leverage our services to convincingly compete in the Quality Payment Program 2019.

Improvement Activities (IA) category measures their performance in terms of practice improvement over an elaborate period. Ideally speaking, a MIPS Qualified Registry is suitable for reporting IA for

PTs and OTs as they can work on measures such as enhancing care coordination, expanding patient access to care, and improving patient-doctor decision-making. All of this to land the best score out of a total of 40 points.

How to Avoid Penalties in MIPS 2018, 2019 and Beyond?

Please comment to assist the other readers.

MIPS Qualified Registry, Qualified Clinical Data Registry, MIPS, QPP, QCDRs, CMS, MIPS 2019 reporting process, MIPS submission methods

MIPS Qualified Registry VS Qualified Clinical Data Registry

There are not many agencies in the US healthcare system that earns the status of MIPS qualified registry. Each of the seven MIPS submission methods has its own advantages, and eligible clinicians can choose to submit data via anyone.

However, healthcare organizations or physicians often confuse MIPS qualified registry and Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). Particularly, physicians who don’t have much knowledge about the MIPS 2019 reporting process and mechanism, find it difficult to decide the submission strategy.

P3Care being the MIPS qualified registry for three years now has the expertise and knowledge to know how things work with different submissions methods.

Here’s a quick overview of the two most confusing terms in the MIPS QPP.

A MIPS registry reports clinical data on behalf of eligible clinicians or healthcare organizations.

While QCDR is a CMS-approved entity that collects clinical data for CMS on physicians’ behalf. This entity is generally not managed by an individual. It also differs from the former submission method, as it is not restricted to certain measures for data submission.

The qualified clinical data registry is also allowed to host non-MIPS measures, which are approved by CMS.

The categories for QCDR reporting measures are as follows:

  • National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed measures
  • Current 2019 MIPS measures
  • Measures in regional quality collaborations
  • Other measures approved by CMS
  • Measures used by boards or specialty societies
  • Clinician and group consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems (CAHPS), measures reported by CAHPS certified vendor
  • National specialty societies administer or endorse registries/ QCDRs

Reporting Mechanisms

Depending upon the reporting type and category, physicians can submit data via any mechanism.

Either as a group, individual, or virtual group, there are four performance categories to report on, Quality, Improvement Activities (IA), Promoting Interoperability (PI), and Cost.

For the cost category, you specifically don’t need to submit data, but CMS will use administrative claims data.

Both submission methods, qualified registries for MIPS and QCDRs can report for a total of six measures and all-cause readmission measures for groups of sixteen or more.

Which Method to Choose?

Either whatever method you choose to report, the decision should not be supported by the number of available measures. Instead, it should be well thought of to score high in the final score of MIPS in healthcare.

Think of the following points before finalizing the submission method.

  • If measures are related to your practice
  • The benchmark for available measures for each submission method
  • Performance rate achievable for selected measures
  • If there are bonus points available for the selected measures
  • Information about which measures are topped out

A correct decision can make all the difference. The path to get incentives and bonuses leads to improved revenue cycle management.

Medical practices when improving the quality of healthcare services move towards progression, and MIPS QPP is a way to measure and judge the performance of how far we have come across.

Either you report via a MIPS qualified registry or any other method, the thing is to clear mind, put forward pros and cons, and then strategize to report clinical data to MIPS via the most suitable method.