- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is inviting clinicians to participate in a year-long study to assess the burden of reporting under MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
- Participants will need to submit data for at least three measures in the MIPS Quality performance category, including one outcome measure, and take part in a virtual focus group. Those who complete the study will earn full credit for the clinical improvement category.
- Despite good intentions, CMS could have trouble getting physicians to join the study, Matthew Katz, CEO of the Connecticut State Medical Society, told Modern Healthcare. “These are practicing physicians who are already spending more and more time on reporting requirements and now you’re asking them to sign up to participate in this,” he said.
The survey is another sign that CMS is sensitive to physician claims that regulatory requirements are increasingly cutting into their face time with patients.
In a 2017 Medical Group Management Association survey, nearly half of group practices said they spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician per year to comply with federal regulations. Among the themes that emerged from the survey was that MIPS is too complex and doesn’t provide practices enough clinical benefit.
Under MIPS, eligible clinicians need to select six metrics, including one outcome measure, from three performance categories: quality, advancing care information and improvement activities. Beginning in 2019, a fourth category kicks in and 30% of physician pay will hinge on costs. Clinicians that exceed the MIPS performance threshold get incentive payments; those that fall short are penalized.
CMS’ MACRA final rule for performance year 2018 exempts clinicians from MIPS requirements if they have less than $90,000 in annual Medicare Part B charges and fewer than 200 Part B beneficiaries. The agency has estimated about 39% of clinicians will be eligible for MIPS this year after the exclusions.
Depending on the study’s outcome, CMS may recommend changes to reduce the reporting burden, improve quality data collection and reporting and improve clinical care, the agency said.
MIPS-eligible clinicians can apply through March 28 for the study, which will run from April 2018 to March 2019.