Physicians will have four options for when they can start meeting the requirements for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track under regulations that implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

The options are designed to allow physicians a variety of ways to get started with the new Quality Payment Program – the term CMS has given the MACRA-legislated reforms – and provide more limited ways to participate in 2017.

Option 1: Test the quality payment program in 2017 by submitting data without facing any negative payment adjustments. This will give physicians the year to make sure their processes are in place and ready for broader participation in 2018 and beyond.

Option 2: Delay the start of the performance period and participate for just part of 2017. Depending on how long a physician delays reporting quality information back to CMS, they could still qualify for a smaller bonus payment.

Option 3: Participate for the entire calendar year as called for by the law and be eligible for the full participation bonuses.

Option 4: For those who qualify, participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) beginning next year.

The final regulations for implementing MACRA will be released on Nov. 1, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt wrote in a blog post published Sept. 8.

“However you choose to participate in 2017, we will have resources available to assist you and walk you through what needs to be done,” Mr. Slavitt wrote.


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