By Joey Berlin
Originally published on the Texas Medical Association website.
With a key deadline for clinicians in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) approaching fast amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is giving those clinicians a month of extra time to submit their data.
CMS announced Sunday it is moving the deadline for MIPS-eligible clinicians to submit their 2019 MIPS data to April 30, instead of March 31.
Even if that’s not enough time, not submitting your data by then won’t hurt your bottom line. CMS also announced that MIPS-eligible clinicians who haven’t submitted their 2019 data by the April 30 date would simply receive a “neutral payment adjustment” – that is, no payment bonus and no 7% penalty – in calendar year 2021. (MIPS bonuses or penalties for a given performance year are assessed two years later.)
MIPS is a key piece of the agency’s Quality Payment Program, which requires eligible clinicians to participate in the program either through MIPS or alternative payment models.
CMS announced the MIPS extension among a host of new measures under its “extreme and uncontrollable circumstances” policy in order to ease the burden on clinicians participating in a number of federal quality reporting programs.
“In granting these exceptions and extensions, CMS is supporting clinicians fighting coronavirus on the front lines,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a release. “The Trump administration is cutting bureaucratic red tape so the health care delivery system can direct its time and resources toward caring for patients.”
Any clinicians who have already submitted their 2019 MIPS data, or submit their data by the April 30 deadline, will be scored and receive a payment adjustment under the normal method, CMS said. April 30 is also the new deadline for clinicians to revise their submitted data, if needed, by logging in to the QPP portal. For guidance on submitting your data, download this CMS guide (PDF).
CMS also reports it is evaluating options for providing additional relief for the 2020 QPP performance year (which would affect 2022 payments). Texas Medicine Today will update physicians when CMS releases more information.
The list of new exceptions and extensions for the QPP and other federal quality reporting programs is available here.
For questions, contact the QPP Service Center at (866) 288-8292 or by email.
Remember, you can find the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak by visiting TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center regularly.