CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians Participating in the Quality Payment Program in 2020
In response to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing flexibilities for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2020:
- Clinicians significantly impacted by the public health emergency may submit an Extreme & Uncontrollable Circumstances Application to reweight any or all of the MIPS performance categories. Those requesting relief via the application will need to provide a justification of how their practice has been significantly impacted by the public health emergency.
- Reminder: In April, CMS added a new COVID-19 clinical trials improvement activity. There are two ways MIPS eligible clinicians or groups can receive credit for this new improvement activity:
- A clinician may participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial and have those data entered into a data platform for that study; or
- A clinician participating in the care of COVID-19 patients may submit clinical COVID-19 patient data to a clinical data registry for purposes of future study.
For More Information
- Visit the QPP COVID-19 Response webpage or review the COVID-19 Fact Sheet to learn more about changes to the Quality Payment Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Review the 2020 Exception Applications Fact Sheet and QPP Exception Applications webpage for more information about submitting an Extreme & Uncontrollable Circumstances Application.
- Read more about the COVID-19 clinical trials improvement activity in the 2020 Improvement Activities Inventory.
Physician Compare Preview Period is Now Open
The Physician Compare 60-day Preview Period is officially open as of June 22, 2020. You can now preview your 2018 Quality Payment Program performance information before it will appear on the Physician Compare profile pages and in the Downloadable Database. You can access the secured Preview through the Quality Payment Program website. For help viewing your preview please reference the Physician Compare Preview Period User Guide. The 60-day Preview Period will close on August 20, 2020 at 7 p.m. CT.
Telehealth Guidance for Medicare Part B Claims and MIPS Clinical Quality Measure (CQMs) for 2020 Quality Reporting
This resource provides MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups a list of quality measures that currently include telehealth for the 2020 performance period.
Guidance on Allowance of Telehealth Encounters in eCQMs Now Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted guidance on the allowance of telehealth encounters for the Eligible Professional and Eligible Clinician electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) used in CMS quality reporting programs for the 2020 and 2021 performance periods. Guidance provided applies to eCQMs used in each of the following programs:
- Quality Payment Program: The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs)
- APM: Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+)
- APM: Primary Care First (PCF)
- Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Professionals
- Measures are not eligible for 2021 reporting unless and until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program.
Where to Find the Guidance on Allowance of Telehealth Encounters
The guidance is available on the eCQI Resource Center in the following locations:
- 2020 Performance Period: Telehealth Guidance for Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) for Eligible Professional/Eligible Clinician 2020 Quality Reporting, on the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians page for the 2020 Performance Period.
- 2021 Performance Period: Telehealth Guidance for Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) for Eligible Professional/Eligible Clinician 2021 Quality Reporting, on the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians page for the 2021 Performance Period.
CMS has updated the Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals Table of eCQMs to indicate guidance on allowance of telehealth:
- 2020 Performance Period: Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals Table of eCQMs
- 2021 Performance Period: Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals Table of eCQMs
Other eCQM resources for Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals, including eCQM specifications and materials such as the Guide for Reading eCQMs, eCQM Logic and Implementation Guidance, and technical release notes, are also available on the eCQI Resource Center on the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians page for the 2020 Performance Period and the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians page for the 2021 Performance Period.
To find out more about eCQMs, visit the eCQI Resource Center.
CMS July LAN Webinar
Save the date for the July CMS LAN Webinar, Maximizing your Performance in the Promoting Interoperability Category. This event will help small practices understand PI scoring, what is needed to meet the 2020 Objectives and Measures, how to maximize limited resources while improving the care of your patients, and how to earn the best PI score possible. A panel of experts who regularly work with small practices will explain PI objectives and measures, discuss options for submitting your PI data, and offer advice on how to align strategies for earning a good score with your efforts to provide better patient care.
What to Expect from a Security Risk Assessment (SRA)
In this webinar, Kevin Atkins, CAHIMS and Director of Dakota State University Center for the Advancement of Health IT, discusses the HIPAA requirements for an SRA, what constitutes a risk and identifies the elements of an SRA. This recorded webinar can be found on our website here.
New Resources in the QPP Resource Library
The following resources were updated or added in June