ORLANDO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Want to know if you can must participate in the new MIPS program? CMS is about to let you know.

Physicians who are right around the eligibility threshold for participation in the Quality Payment Program “want to know if they are eligible” for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), one of the QPP’s two tracks, Kate Goodrich, MD, said at the annual meeting of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. Within the next 6 weeks – about the first week of April – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will notify practices with less than $30,000 in Medicare payments or that serve less than 100 Medicare patients if they are exempt.

That status will be key to future planning for 2017, which is the first year of the program and the level of participation will dictate Medicare bonus payments in 2019. For the first year, practices will have three reporting options:

Doing absolutely nothing will result in a 4% reduction in Medicare fee schedule payments in 2019.

“We have to expect that we will have some folks who do the minimum” in 2017, Dr. Goodrich, director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality and the chief medical officer for CMS, said. “They are just not ready to go beyond that. But even for folks who haven’t participated previously [in reporting programs], we are hearing they want to at least try to do more than just the bare minimum because they want to get ready for future years of the program.”

She said that CMS officials “are definitely hearing from some larger health systems, but even some medium and smaller practices that were really familiar with what we now call legacy programs, so meaningful use and PQRS [Physician Quality Reporting System] and so forth, that they’re ready.”


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