CMS Proposes Rule to Streamline Quality Payment Program

In a press release, CMS announced a proposed rule which is aiming to better accommodate providers and reduce hardships in the second year of the Quality Payment Program. The ultimate goal is to streamline the program by reducing the amount of time spent on paperwork and increasing the amount of time spent on patient care, while continuing to decrease costs. Here are some of the proposed changes:

  • Offering the Virtual Groups participation option.
  • Increasing the low-volume threshold so that more small practices and eligible clinicians in rural and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) are exempt from MIPS participation.
  • Continuing to allow the use of 2014 Edition CEHRT (Certified Electronic Health Record Technology), while encouraging the use of 2015 edition CEHRT.
  • Adding bonus points in the scoring methodology for:
    • Caring for complex patients.
    • Using 2015 Edition CEHRT exclusively.
  • Incorporating MIPS performance improvement in scoring quality performance.
  • Incorporating the option to use facility-based scoring for facility-based clinicians.
  • Add a new hardship exception for clinicians in small practices under the Advancing Care Information performance category.
  • Add bonus points to the Final Score of clinicians in small practices.
  • Continue to award small practices 3 points for measures in the Quality performance category that don’t meet data completeness requirements.

More details on the proposed changes can be seen here. The comment period for the rule will end on August 21, 2017.