MACRA Minute July 2020

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

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.

2020 Quality Measures List with Telehealth Guidance

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:

CMS has updated the Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals Table of eCQMs to indicate guidance on allowance of telehealth:

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.

Telligen Webinar

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

2020 Quality Measure List with Telehealth Guidance

2020 MIPS Data Validation Criteria

2020 MIPS Exception Application Fact Sheet

Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response

Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program versus MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category

2020 Measures and Activities for Family Medicine Clinicians

2020 Measures and Activities for Gastroenterologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Dermatologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Anesthesiologists and CRNAs

2020 Measures and Activities for Cardiologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Chiropractors

2020 Measures and Activities for Clinical Psychologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Dentists

2020 Measures and Activities for Dietitians and Nutrition Professionals

2020 Measures and Activities for Emergency Medicine Clinicians

2020 Measures and Activities for Nurse Practitioners

2020 Measures and Activities for Occupational and Physical Therapists

2020 Measures and Activities for Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Ophthalmologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Optometrists

2020 Measures and Activities for Orthopedists

2020 Measures and Activities for Pathologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Physician Assistants

2020 Measures and Activities for Podiatrists

2020 Measures and Activities for Radiologists

2020 Measures and Activities for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists

2020 Qualified Registries

2020 QCDRs

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