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CMS says Quality Payment Program Exceeds Year 1 Participation Goal

By John Commins  
   May 31, 2018

Feds say 91% of eligible clinicians participated in the first year of the initiative, and that submission rates for rural ACOs and clinicians were at 98% and 94%, respectively.  

More than 90% of clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System participated in the first year of the Quality Payment Program, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said Thursday in a blog post.

"Remarkably, the submission rates for Accountable Care Organizations and clinicians in rural practices were at 98% and 94%, respectively," Verma said. "What makes these numbers most exciting is the concerted efforts by clinicians, professional associations, and many others to ensure high quality care and improved outcomes for patients."

Verma said the high participation rates come as CMS reduces regulatory burdens for clinicians and through its Patients over Paperwork initiative.

In particular, she said CMS:

  • Reduced the number of clinicians who are required to participate giving them more time with their patients, not computers.
     
  • Added bonus points for small practice clinicians who treat complex patients, or use 2015 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology to promote interoperability.
     
  • Increased the opportunities for clinicians to earn a positive payment adjustment.
     
  • Continued offering free technical assistance to clinicians in the program.

Verma said CMS will use statutory authority provided under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to continue a gradual implementation of requirements for three more years to further reduce burden in areas of MIPS. 

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.


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