Physicians complain that a "severe delay" in updating the CMS Quality Payment Program interactive website, and other eligibility notification breakdowns have left them "in the dark on their status."
The American Medical Association and more than 40 physician specialty associations are calling for the federal government to reduce from one year to 90 days the reporting period for 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System.
In a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the physicians' associations say the curtailed reporting period is needed because:
- CMS failed to provide timely notification on physician eligibility for the program;
- The agency's "severe delay" in updating its Quality Payment Program interactive website means it won't be ready this summer.
The physicians say that the modifications to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act under the Bipartisan Budget Act exclude Medicare Part B drug costs from MIPS payment adjustments. Because of that, physicians cannot rely on any previous "historic" estimates to determine if they're excluded under the low-volume threshold.
"Thus, despite being held accountable for data tracking and collection as of January 1, 2018, physicians were not informed of basic eligibility information until early April to determine whether they must participate in the MIPS program," the physicians told Verma.
"Furthermore, in order to determine whether they are eligible for the MIPS program, a physician must actively go on to CMS' website. Previously, CMS has mailed letters to practices to inform them of their eligibility status, which many practices were waiting on this year."
"Without direct outreach by CMS to physicians and group practices, many physicians will be left in the dark on their status," the letter said.
John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.