CMS hosts Performance Feedback and Targeted Review "Office Hours" Sessions
July 25, 2018

CMS hosts Performance Feedback and Targeted Review "Office Hours" Sessions

CMS is hosting two Performance Feedback and Targeted Review Office Hours sessions to address questions about 2017 MIPS final scores and performance feedback. The one-hour sessions are scheduled at noon Eastern, Tuesday, July 31, and at 2 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, August 14.

During the sessions, CMS will:

  • Provide a brief overview of MIPS 2017 performance feedback and targeted review
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Highlight helpful performance feedback and targeted review resources available

CMS has extended the deadline for Targeted Review submission until October 1, 2018.

CMS releases 2019 proposed rule for Quality Payment Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for the 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP proposed rule affects the 2019 performance period/2021 payment year for practices participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Alternative Payment Models (APMs), as established within the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

CMS has proposed several changes to MIPS in the 2019 proposed rule, including:

  • Another threshold criteria - related to covered professional services. To be excluded from MIPS, eligible clinicians (ECs) or groups would need to meet one of the following three criterion: have less than $90,000 in Part B allowed charges for covered professional services, or provide care to less than 200 beneficiaries, or provide less than 200 covered professional services under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
  • In addition, ECs or groups would be able to opt in to MIPS if they meet or exceed one or two, but not all, of the low-volume threshold criterion.
  • The proposed performance threshold for 2019 is 30 MIPS Total Points. ECs or practices who fail to participate, when required, or to meet the 30-point threshold may incur up to a negative 7% payment adjustment in 2021.

CMS has created a fact sheet comparing the current QPP rule with the proposed rule for the upcoming year. The comment period for the proposed rule will close on September 10. ASA staff is reviewing the proposed regulations in detail and will share additional information as available.

Internal improvement measures released

AQI recently released Internal Improvement Measures for reporting to the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR). The collection of 12 measures is intended for internal improvement purposes only and are optional for practices to report.

Reporting these measures may aid a practice in the following:

  • Benchmark their performance against other anesthesia practices
  • Demonstrate their value and quality of care to payers and facility administrators
  • Assist with local practice and quality improvement initiatives

CMS has not recognized and will not accept these measures as part of an anesthesiologist's or practice's participation in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), or as part of an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM). AQI will not send data gathered on these measures to CMS.

Keeping provider lists up to date

Practices should routinely update provider lists in the NACOR Dashboard. AQI's NACOR uses the list as the record of truth for CMS data submission, as well as Provider Reconciliation/Invoicing. Practices should make sure the following are correct:

  • TIN
  • Provider NPI
  • Report to CMS Status

This step-by-step guide helps practices through the updating process. For practices enrolled in individual reporting, mark the providers who have retired or left your practice as "disabled" in the Status field and "No" in the Report to CMS field. For practices enrolled in group reporting, mark the providers who retired or left your practice prior to January 1, 2018, as disabled in the Status field. Any providers who worked for your practice during the 2018 reporting year will be included in 2018 CMS data submission.

Next Office Hours in August

Looking for answers to your quality reporting questions? AQI is hosting its regularly scheduled Virtual Office Hours at 11 a.m. Central, Tuesday, August 14. Miss last month's Virtual Office Hours? Check out the July Office Hours video.

Office Hours FAQs

Is CMS making any changes to measures for 2018? We are trying to verify if there will be any added or deleted codes for this reporting year.

Yes, the measures have been updated and approved by CMS for 2018. AQI recommends that practices and vendors review the updated measure booklets for QR and QCDR located on the AQI website.

How can we see historic provider level reports that CMS Quality Reports?

Once logged into the Arbor Metrix dashboard, select the NACOR Quality Reporting icon, then click on the reports listed under "Historic CMS Quality Reports." You can review reports at the individual level (Provider Summary and Measure Detail). Please note that you cannot drill down to the case level details as you can with the current year's reports.

Do only new practices joining NACOR/AQI have to fill out another form to register, or do all practices (both new and returning) have to sign up again?

New practices, as well as returning practices, are required to complete a 2018 order form to begin the registration process for the current quality reporting year. If your practice does not plan to participate, notify AQI so your practice contracts can be terminated.

2018 Reporting Deadlines

NACOR Registration: October 31, 2018

January through November 2018 data submission: January 31, 2019

All data submissions: February 15, 2019

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