Most MIPS-Eligible Physicians Participated in First Year

Kerry Dooley Young

June 06, 2018

Participation in a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting program reached 91% in its first year, topping the goal of 90% participation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency said.

In a May 31 blog posting, CMS Administrator Seema Verma also noted that submission rates for accountable care organizations and clinicians in rural practices were at 98% and 94%, respectively. CMS is preparing to give physicians and other healthcare professional their final feedback this summer on how the agency judged their 2017 performance. CMS' Quality Payment Program website already offers physicians and other MIPS participants the chance to sign in to see preliminary feedback.

Verma said CMS still is looking for ways to ease the reporting demands on physicians.

"Even with this high rate of participation, we are committed to removing more of the regulatory burdens that get in the way of doctors and other clinicians spending time with their patients," she writes.

Verma also noted that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 gives her agency additional authority for "gradual implementation of certain requirements for three more years to further reduce burden in areas of MIPS." 

Major physician groups sent an April letter to CMS that seeks a shorter MIPS reporting period in 2018. The letter, led by the American Medical Association (AMA), asked that the reporting period be reduced from a full calendar year to a minimum of 90 consecutive days.

"While we acknowledge that certain reporting options, such as reporting certain outcome-based measures, may require a lengthier reporting period than 90 days to ensure statistical validity, we believe there is a substantial opportunity to reduce the cost and labor involved in reporting MIPS data," wrote the AMA and cosigners, which included the American Academy of Family Physicians and about 50 other medical groups.

These groups are waiting to see if the agency addresses this issue in the draft physician fee schedule for 2019. CMS is expected to release that draft this summer.

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