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MIPS-It's Time to Get Started

Posted on Jun 28, 2017 by Lea Chatham

    In our last blog post on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), we looked at the options to participate in 2017. While you’ve missed the chance to participate in the full program for a full 365 days, you can still do 90-days of full or partial reporting to avoid a penalty and possibly get an incentive.

    As a recap…

    • The partial pace requires submission of at least 90 days of data for more than one quality measure OR more than one improvement activity OR more than the four required advancing care information (ACI) measures.
    • Full participation for a 90-day period requires submission of data for all of the required quality measures, improvement activities, and ACI measures.

    In this blog post, we’ll look at the quality category and what you need to do to meet that requirement. Our coming blog posts will look at Advancing Care Information and improvement activities.

    We’ll look at the quality category requirements for full participation. The quality component makes up 60 percent of your full MIPS score. Most providers will participate individually. This requires reporting up to six quality measure, including one outcome measure.

    With MIPS #quality matters. How can your practice reach those requirements?

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    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers a total of 271 quality measures to choose from. There are a couple of important things to know about quality measure. First, your electronic health record (EHR) software probably doesn’t support all 271 measures. So, you’ll need to see what measures are supported. CMS expects MIPS eligible clinicians to choose measures that are applicable to their specialty. If there are fewer than six applicable measures for your specialty then CMS expects you to do as many measures that are applicable to your specialty as are offered. So, if there were only four measures offered for your specialty, you would only do those four.

    Here’s an example of what the measures look like when you review them on the MIPS site:

    Quality measure example of MIPS

    To help you choose the most applicable measures, CMS offers a sorting tool on the MIPS website atIn MIPS high priority measure are weighted more heavily qpp.cms.gov. You can sort by specialty measure set as well as sorting by high priority measures. High priority measures are weighted more heavily in the eligible clinician’s quality score. By choosing at least some high priority measures, you boost your chances of getting the highest score possible. Since the quality component carries to much weight in your overall MIPS score, it’s not a bad idea to try for high priority measure or two.

    After you sort the measures using the CMS filters, you can read through the details and choose your six measures to report. The site will then let you download a file with those measures and their details.

    Once you have your measures selected, you’ll move on to picking your improvement activities.

    Watch for our next MIPS blog post where will provide an overview to help you choose your improvement activities.

    Lea Chatham

    Lea Chatham

    Lea Chatham is the Director of Content Marketing at Solutionreach and the editor of the SR Health blog. She develops educational resources to help healthcare organizations improve patient engagement. Her work has been published in many leading journals including Physicians Practice and Medical Economics and she has presented webinars for industry groups like MGMA.

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