By Tayler Chambless, Class of 2020; Elizabeth N. Pitman, Counsel at Waller
2017 was the first year for participation in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a Quality Payment Program (QPP) implemented by CMS, to award or penalize participating clinicians with regard to future Medicare reimbursements based upon reporting under four categories:
- Improvement Activities
- Promoting Interoperability (2017 Advancing Care Information; previously Meaningful Use)
In July, CMS released 2017 Performance Feedback Reports detailing clinicians’ MIPS final scores, performance category details, and 2019 MIPS Medicare payment adjustments. According to CMS, approximately 621,700 providers received negative adjustments. At the same time as release of reports, CMS conducted a “targeted review” and discovered major calculation errors in the following areas:
- Advancing Care Information and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship Exceptions
- Awarding Improvement Activity credit for successful participation in Improvement Activities Burden Reduction Study
- All-Cause Readmission measure
On September 25th, CMS announced that clinicians have 20 days to request a targeted review of their MIPS report. Lack of transparency by CMS has buoyed critic positions that MIPS is too complicated. CMS, however, states that it has “reviewed the concerns, identified a few errors in the scoring logic, and implemented solutions. The targeted review process worked exactly as intended, as the incoming requests quickly alerted us to these issues and allowed us to take immediate action.”
Clinicians are encouraged to review Performance Feedback Reports and request a Targeted Review by Oct. 15, 2018, at 8 p.m. EDT.
What is a targeted review, and how do I submit a request?
Clinicians must request a Targeted Review through the formal online process established by CMS. The Performance Feedback Report may be found at the QPP Portal.
No targeted review is available for:
- Methodology used to determine the amount of the MIPS payment adjustment factor and the amount of the additional MIPS payment adjustment factor and the determination of such amounts;
- Establishment of performance standards and performance period;
- Identification of measures and activities specified for a MIPS performance category and information made public or posted on the Physician Compare CMS website; and
- Methodology used to calculate performance scores and calculation of such scores (weighting measures and activities)
CMS will generally require additional supporting documents that the clinician must provide within 30 days. All targeted review decisions are final and without further review.
Clinicians should be prepared to submit supporting documents:
- Supporting extracts from the electronic health record (EHR)
- Performance data provided to third-parties
- Performance data submitted to CMS
- QPP Service Center ticket numbers
- Signed contracts or agreements between clinician/group and third-party intermediaries
- Alternative Payment Model participation agreements
- Partial qualified participant (QP) election forms
- Other requested documents.
CMS is in the process of reviewing over 15,000 comments on a proposed rule that was issued in July to outline changes for year three of the MIPS Quality Payment Program and update the Medicare physician fee schedule. The final rule will be issued later this fall.