The 2018 MIPS final rule has been published. After months of accepting feedback from various stakeholders CMS has unveiled the second iteration of the Quality Payment Program. There was a lot of feedback from small providers that the MIPS program was too much of a burden. Participation requirements were too complex and added too much work to an already overworked group of providers. These providers obviously did not have a MIPS coach helping them navigate the program! For additional information and ways to get help, download our MIPS Quickstart Guide and learn about the MIPS Method.
Changes were made to ease the burden for small providers by raising the eligibility requirements. Groups and providers that have less than or equal to $90,000 in Medicare Part B charges and 200 beneficiaries are exempt from participation.
While the burden of participation has been eased, complexity of the requirements has not. Clinicians must still navigate the process of selecting appropriate quality measures. Quality measure considerations should include topped out measure scoring, and submission method thresholds. In addition providers will need to select appropriate Improvement Activities, taking into account those activities that may provide bonus points for the ACI category.
The 2017 transition year provided an opportunity for clinicians to avoid penalties while submitting a minimum amount of data. In a move to align the scoring threshold with the spirit of the Quality Payment Program the performance threshold has been raised to 15%. In addition to raising the performance threshold, data completeness minimums have been raised to 60% for the coming year. The goal was to ramp up the level of performance as we move to a fully implemented MIPS program in year 3.
Though the requirements and scoring thresholds have increased there are also new incentives for small practices and quality measure options that give providers bonus opportunities. The 2018 Quality payment program will offer eligible providers a good opportunites to earn a positive payment adjustments. The most important thing that you can do is to work in a MIPS Coach who will expertly guide you through the reporting options. To learn more about the Quality Payment Program and out MIPS coaching please check out our MIPS Method.