Forty-nine physician organizations across the medical spectrum, including urology, have urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the period for reporting quality measures from a full year to a minimum of 90 days for 2018 under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
In a letter signed by the AUA and the American Urogynecologic Society along with the American Medical Association and 46 other organizations, the groups said the change is needed because CMS failed to post information regarding which programs must comply until April 6.
In addition, the groups requested a reduced reporting period for future MIPS program years in order to reduce administrative burden and ensure physicians have sufficient time to report after receiving performance feedback from CMS.
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The letter pointed out that several policy changes for 2018 “complicate” the ability of physicians to determine if they are eligible for MIPS, including CMS’ expansion of the low-volume threshold exemption for 2018.
Eligibility status could change
“While the undersigned organizations strongly support the increased low-volume threshold and believe it will assist small practices and physicians who treat a small number of Medicare patients, it may create changes in physicians’ eligibility status,” the letter said.
It also noted that the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 modified MACRA to exclude Medicare Part B drug costs from MIPS payment adjustments and from the low-volume threshold determination for MIPS eligibility.
“As a result, physicians cannot rely on historic estimates from CMS and had to wait on notifications from CMS to determine whether they are excluded under the expanded low-volume threshold,” the letter read.
In addition, the groups complained in the letter that the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) website has not been updated with 2018 information, despite the numerous changes in the MIPS program, and that CMS is not expected to update the site until the summer, halfway through the reporting period.
“Given the QPP website is the primary means for educating physicians on the program, this severe delay would undermine physicians’ ability to meet the 2018 requirements to successfully avoid a penalty,” the letter stated. “For individual clinicians and small practices, the delays undercut the relief intended by the expanded low-volume exclusion.”