The head of CMS promised a final rule by Nov. 1 for the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and said it would allow providers to “pick their pace” of compliance if they so choose.
In a CMS blog entry, Acting Director of CMS Andy Slavitt said the final rule would start the MIPS quality reporting program in Jan. 1, 2017, as proposed. It will replace the meaningful use, physician quality reporting system (PQRS) and value-based modifier programs, but CMS would make some allowances for “the wide diversity of physician practices” with four options:
- First option (new): “Some data” required. While the proposed rule put forward penalties that would reach a maximum of 4% in 2017, under this option “as long as you submit some data to the Quality Payment Program, including data from after Jan. 1, 2017, you will avoid a negative payment adjustment,” Slavitt says.
- Second option (new): “Reduced number of days.” While the proposed reporting period is a full year (Jan. 1- Dec. 31), Slavitt said providers could report for an unspecified shorter period within that year and still receive “a small positive payment adjustment.”
- Third option (in the proposed rule): Providers can participate in the program through the whole year as Slavitt says he “expect[s] many will be ready to do.”
- Fourth option (in the proposed rule): Skip reporting altogether and participate in an advanced alternative payment model (APM), for which very few providers will qualify. Those that do will be eligible for the full payment bonus of up to 4%.