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You Can Still Avoid a MIPS Penalty—And Maybe Get an Incentive

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Lea Chatham

    Ok, we are well into the 2017 reporting year for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Are you participating? If not, there is still time—seven months to be precise.

    If you aren’t familiar with MIPS, check out our last blog post on what MIPS is and why it matters to you. In that post, we reviewed who needs to participate. We also explained that while it is too late for the full year participation, you can still avoid the penalty or even get a small incentive.

    Healthcare practices can still participate in Merit-based incentive payment system for 2017We promised to explain the details on how you can attest in this post. So, here we go!

    MIPS provides some flexibility to practices through the Pick Your Pace structure. This provides options from not participating—which we don’t recommend—to full participation for an entire calendar year. As we mentioned, it’s too late to do a full year. However, there are other options you can still try.

    Test Pace

    If you submit a minimum amount of 2017 data to Medicare, you can avoid a downward payment adjustment. You can submit data for one quality measure or one improvement activity or the four required Advancing Care Information (ACI) measures. You won’t get an incentive but you won’t get docked either.

    Are you participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System? If not, there is still time.

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    Partial Pace

    If you submit 90 days of 2017 data to Medicare, you may earn a neutral or positive payment adjustment. Submit at least 90 days of data for more than one quality measure or more than one improvement activity or more than the four required ACI measures. Better to keep the status quo—or even get a little incentive—than to take a hit on your Medicare reimbursement. 

    Full Participation for 90 Days MIPS allows healthcare practices to pick their pace when participating.

    Full participation can be for a year or for 90 days. Participating for 90 days doesn’t guarantee the full incentive, but that is still possible. You must submit at least 90 days of data for all of the required quality measures, improvement activities, and ACI measures. If you were doing Meaningful Use, PQRS, and/or the Value-Based Modifier before then this is a no-brainer. There are some changes, but the data is very similar.

    So, think about what you can reasonably do and start planning to collect your data so you can report and attest in early 2018. The best resource for more information is qpp.cms.gov. Watch for our next post on MIPS where we will review the three categories for MIPS: Quality, Improvement Activities, and Advancing Care Information.

    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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