MIPS participation notices to be mailed soon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said it soon will mail letters to healthcare practices identifying which of their clinicians must participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Letters will be sent to practices by the end of May from the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) that processes claims under Medicare Part B, CMS announced.

"This letter will tell the participation status of each MIPS clinician associated with the Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN in a practice," CMS said.

MIPS provides reimbursement based on clinical performance, practice improvement, reporting, and use of technology. It is one of two tracks under CMS’s Quality Payment Program (the other track is Advanced Alternative Payment Models). MIPS offers providers a choice of three reporting timetable options:

  • Full reporting on all measures for either the entire year or a 90-day reporting period
  • 90-day reporting of some (though not all) measures
  • 90-day reporting on a single measure

Beyond this year, however, the future of MIPS and other mandatory alternative payment programs is unclear. Tom Price, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has been a vocal critical of forced participation in payment models.

In a letter last year to acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, Price – then a Georgia congressman – and other lawmakers wrote, “Until recently, the tests and models developed by [the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation] were implemented as intended, on a voluntary, limited-scale basis where no state, healthcare provider, or health insurer had any obligation to participate. These mandatory models overhaul major payment systems, commandeer clinical decision-making and dramatically alter the delivery of care.”

Last month CMS announced a three-month delay of several mandatory bundled payment models scheduled to go live in July.

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