MIPS 2017: The Results Are In!

Of the 1,057,824 clinicians eligible to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in the inaugural year, 1,006,319 (95 percent) participated in MIPS and avoided a negative payment adjustment, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2017 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Experience Report.
The report, which CMS released March 21, provides an overview of the clinician reporting experience during the first year (2017) of the QPP.

Other key findings included in the report:

  • 341,220 MIPS eligible clinicians participated in MIPS through a MIPS Alternate Payment Model (APM).
  • 93 percent of the MIPS eligible clinicians who participated in MIPS earned a positive payment adjustment and 2 percent earned a neutral adjustment.
  • Of the eligible clinicians who participated in MIPS, 54 percent did so as groups, 12 percent as individuals, and 34 percent through MIPS APMs.
  • Across all of the MIPS performance categories, the majority of MIPS eligible clinicians opted to report data for 90 days or longer; less than one percent elected to submit the minimum amount of data and report for less than 90 days.
  • MIPS eligible clinicians in small or rural practices had participation rates of 81 and 94 percent, respectively.
  • 99,076 clinicians were Advanced APM Qualifying Participants (QPs) and an additional 52 were Partial QPs.

A Closer Look at MIPS Performance Year 1

The report also highlights data on participation rates and mean and median scores, detailed by categories and shares the amount of data clinicians chose to submit, the ways they submitted data, and the most commonly reported quality measures. For example:

  • Table 2 shows that over half (54 percent) of MIPS eligible clinicians who participated in MIPS did so as part of a group
  • Table 3 shows that 25 percent of the overall MIPS eligible clinicians who participated in MIPS were non-physician practitioners
  • Table 5 shows that 320,945 MIPS eligible clinicians participated in MIPS via the Medicare Shared Savings Program
  • Table 10 shows that only 21.99 percent of MIPS eligible clinicians submitted quality measure data via certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT); 41.74 percent submitted this data using the CMS Web Interface
  • Table 12 shows that Quality Measure ID #236 Controlling High Blood Pressure was reported by more than half of all participants, resulting in an average score of 7.6 points out of 10. This table also shows those who reported Quality Measure ID #204 Ischemic Vascular Disease (ICD): Use of Aspirin or Another Antiplatelet returned an average score of 9.49 points out of 10.
  • Table 14 shows the top five improvement activities: 190,510 MIPS eligible clinicians attested to IA_EPS_1: Provide 24/7 access to eligible clinicians or groups who have real-time access to patient’s medical record.

The information in the report is very telling. For example: Table 15 shows that 60 percent of MIPS eligible clinicians reported Advancing Care Information (ACI) measures from the ACI Transition Objectives and Measures Set – an indication of just how many clinicians may be unprepared for this year’s mandatory use of Edition 2015 CEHRT.

Table 17 shows what we all want to know:

Out of over a million MIPS eligible clinicians, only 5 percent will receive a negative adjustment to their Medicare Part B payments this year between -2.11 and -4.00 percent; 2 percent will receive a neutral payment adjustment; 22 percent will receive a maximum of 0.20 percent; and 71 percent will receive somewhere between 0.28 percent and 1.88 percent. This is in addition to the 0.5 percent automatic payment update to the single conversion factor used to calculate the Physician Fee Schedule.
Be sure to review the appendix to see a complete breakdown of the extensive data used to compile the report.

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Renee Dustman
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Renee Dustman, BS, AAPC MACRA Proficient, is managing editor - content & editorial at AAPC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Communications - Journalism. Renee has more than 30 years' experience in journalistic reporting, print production, graphic design, and content management. Follow her on Twitter @dustman_aapc.

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