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Friday, January 6, 2017

Medicare’s Quality Payment Program is coming; two opportunities to get ready

The new year has begun, which means the Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) becomes even more important as what you do (or don’t do) in 2017 may affect your Medicare payments in 2019. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering two opportunities this month to get a leg up now on the new QPP.

First, CMS is conducting a Clinical Practice Improvement Activities Study and will accept applications for the study through Jan. 31. CMS says it is leading this study to examine clinical workflows and data collection methods using different submission systems and to understand the challenges facing physicians and other clinicians when collecting and reporting quality data. The agency says it will use this information to recommend ways to eliminate burdens, improve collection and reporting of quality data, and enhance clinical care.

Study participants must meet the following requirements between January and December of this year:

•    Complete at least three survey questionnaires.
•    Participate in at least three focus groups.
•    Submit at least three clinician quality performance measures to CMS.

If you or your physicians group is eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and successfully participates in the study, CMS will award you full credit for the Improvement Activities performance category of MIPS. Participants will also get direct feedback from other study participants and CMS during the study on how to reduce problems with data collection and submission.

For more information and to apply to participate in the study, please visit the CMS website. You should submit your completed applications to CMSCPIAStudy@ketchum.com by Jan. 31.

CMS will also host a call titled “Medicare Quality Programs: Transitioning from PQRS to MIPS” on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST). During this call, you can find out how to complete the final reporting period for the legacy Medicare quality reporting programs and transition to MIPS.

To register, please visit MLN Connects Event Registration. CMS is evaluating this call for continuing medical education credit. Please refer to the call detail page for more information.

– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

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