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MACRA: More Approved Registries to Ease MIPS Reporting for Specialists

News  |  By Debra Shute  
   June 14, 2017

A 61% increase in the number of Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) will allow physicians to report more relevant data and may spur the creation of more specialty-specific quality measures going forward.

Physician specialists concerned about the lack of meaningful specialty-focused quality measures available for reporting under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) may enjoy more flexibility in meeting those requirements going forward, according to analysis from Avalere Health.

To be eligible for a bonus payment under MIPS this year, physicians must report on six quality measures in three areas:

  • Performance against quality measures
  • Practice improvement activities
  • Implementation of meaningful use components

One reporting option is a QCDR, a tool to collect data, established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2014. 

Earlier this month, CMS released Version 1 of its 2017 QCDR list, expanding the number of approved registries by 61%—from 69 to 113 total registries. Thus, physicians who report on MIPS through QCDRs will have more than 700 quality measures available for reporting in 2017. Some of the newly approved registries come from the American Psychiatric Association, the Collaborative Endocrine Surgery Quality Improvement Program, and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.

Version 2 of the list, expected later this month, may contain additional approved QCDR (non-MIPS) measures for inclusion in 2017. 

This expansion will not only allow clinicians to potentially report on measures more relevant to their specialties, according to analysts, but QCDRs may also be a valuable vehicle to test possible measures for specialties where measures have not yet been developed. 

“In acknowledgment of the needs of specialists, CMS’ shift towards data collection through the use of QCDRs is a step in the right direction.” said Kristi Mitchell, a senior vice president at Avalere. “Moreover, the development of QCDRs will provide greater opportunities for engagement and innovative partnerships between industry, professional societies, and measure developers. That said, there will be an even greater need for CMS to harmonize all of the measures to eliminate redundancy and reduce reporting burden.” 

Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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