CMS is required by law to implement a quality payment incentive program, referred to as the Quality Payment Program, which rewards value and outcomes in one of two ways: Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
Under MIPS, clinicians are included if they are an eligible clinician type and meet the low volume threshold, which is based on allowed charges for covered professional services under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the number of Medicare Part B patients who are furnished covered professional services under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
Performance is measured through the data clinicians report in four areas - Quality, Improvement Activities, Promoting Interoperability (formerly Advancing Care Information), and Cost. We designed MIPS to update and consolidate previous programs, including: Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program for Eligible Clinicians, Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBM).
How It Works
There are four performance categories that make up your final score. Your final score determines what your payment adjustment will be. These categories are:
This performance category replaces PQRS. This category covers the quality of the care you deliver, based on performance measures created by CMS, as well as medical professional and stakeholder groups. You pick the six measures of performance that best fit your practice.
Promoting Interoperability (PI)
CMS is re-naming the Advancing Care Information performance category to Promoting Interoperability (PI) to focus on patient engagement and the electronic exchange of health information using certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). This performance category replaced the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for EPs, commonly known as Meaningful Use. This is done by proactively sharing information with other clinicians or the patient in a comprehensive manner. This may include: sharing test results, visit summaries, and therapeutic plans with the patient and other facilities to coordinate care.
This is a new performance category that includes an inventory of activities that assess how you improve your care processes, enhance patient engagement in care, and increase access to care. The inventory allows you choose the activities appropriate to your practice from categories such as, enhancing care coordination, patient and clinician shared decision-making, and expansion of practice access.
This performance category replaces the VBM. The cost of the care you provide will be calculated by CMS based on your Medicare claims. MIPS uses cost measures to gauge the total cost of care during the year or during a hospital stay. Beginning in 2018, this performance category will count towards your MIPS final score.
MIPS was designed to tie payments to quality and cost efficient care, drive improvement in care processes and health outcomes, increase the use of healthcare information, and reduce the cost of care.
The MIPS Performance Year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 each year. Program participants must report data collected during one calendar year by March 31 of the following calendar year. For example, program participants who collected data in 2017 must report their data by March 31, 2018 to be eligible for a payment increase and to avoid a payment reduction in 2019.
Check Your Participation Status
Enter your National Provider Identifier (NPI) number.
Choose How You Will Participate
Clinicians participating in MIPS may participate as individuals or as a member of a group. Beginning in performance year 2018, clinicians will also have the option to participate as part of a virtual group.
If you report MIPS data with a group, your payment adjustment is based on the group’s performance. A group is defined as a set of clinicians - identified by their National Provider Identifier (NPI) - sharing a common Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), no matter the specialty or practice site.
If you report MIPS data in as an individual, your payment adjustment will be based only on your performance. An individual is defined as a single NPI tied to a single TIN.
A Virtual Group is a combination of two or more Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) made up of solo practitioners and groups of 10 or fewer eligible clinicians who come together “virtually” (no matter specialty or location) to participate in MIPS for a performance period of a year.