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MIPS Assistance


What’s MACRA?The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is a bipartisan legislation signed into law on April 16, 2015.MACRA created the Quality Payment Program that:Repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate formulaChanges the way that Medicare rewards clinicians for value over volumeStreamlines multiple quality programs under the new Merit Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS)Gives bonus payments for participation in eligible Alternative Payment Models (APMs)

Quality Payment Program

You can learn more about the Quality Payment Program at qpp.cms.gov

CMS is required by law to implement a quality payment incentive program, referred to as the Quality Payment Program, which rewards value & outcomes in one of two ways: Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

MIPS is a new approach to paying for Medicare Part B items and services in which clinicians may receive an increase or decrease in their payments based on their performance. Performance is measured through the data clinicians report in four areas – Quality, Improvement Activities, Advancing Care Information, and Cost. We designed MIPS to update and consolidate previous programs, including: Medicare Meaningful Use (MU), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBM).

How It Works, There are 4 performance categories that make up your final score.

Your final score determines what your payment adjustment will be. These categories are


This performance category replaces PQRS. This category covers the quality of the care you deliver, based on performance measures created by CMS, as well as medical professional and stakeholder groups. You pick the 6 measures of performance that best fit your practice.


This performance category replaces the VBM. The cost of the care you provide will be calculated by CMS based on your Medicare claims. MIPS uses cost measures to gauge the total cost of care during the year or during a hospital stay. Beginning in 2018, this performance category will count towards your MIPS final score.

Advancing Care Information

This program replaces the Medicare EMR Incentive Program, commonly known as Meaningful Use. In this performance category, you choose measures to advance the productive use of the healthcare information you create. This is done by proactively sharing information with other clinicians or the patient in a comprehensive manner. This may include: sharing test results, visit summaries, and therapeutic plans with the patient and other facilities to coordinate care.


This performance category replaces the VBM. The cost of the care you provide will be calculated by CMS based on your Medicare claims. MIPS uses cost measures to gauge the total cost of care during the year or during a hospital stay. Beginning in 2018, this performance category will count towards your MIPS final score.

Improvement Activities

This is a new performance category that includes an inventory of activities that assess how you improve your care processes, enhance patient engagement in care, and increase access to care. The inventory allows you to choose the activities appropriate to your practice from categories such as, enhancing care coordination, patient and clinician shared decision-making, and expansion of practice access.


The MIPS Performance Year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 each year. Program participants must report data collected during one calendar year by March 31 of the following calendar year. For example, program participants who collected data in 2018 must report their data by March 31, 2019 to be eligible for a payment increase and to avoid a payment reduction in 2020 and so on for each year.
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MIPS APMsWhat do you need to do?
Replaces the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).
Most participants: Report up to 6 quality measures, including an outcome measure, for a minimum of 90 days.
Groups using the web interface: Report 15 quality measures for a full year. To submit data as a group through the CMS Web Interface, you must register your group between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.
Groups in APMs qualifying for special scoring under MIPS, such as Shared Savings Track 1 APM or the Oncology Care Model one-sided risk APM: Report quality measures through your APM. You do not need to do anything additional for MIPS quality.
Advancing Care Information
Replaces the Medicare EMR Incentive Program, also known as Meaningful Use.
Fulfill the required measures for a minimum of 90 days:

Security Risk Analysis
Provide Patient Access
Send Summary of Care
Request/Accept Summary of Care
Choose to submit up to 9 measures for a minimum of 90 days for additional credit.
For bonus credit, you can:

Report Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting measures
Use certified EMR technology to complete certain improvement activities in the improvement activities performance category
You may not need to submit advancing care information if these measures do not apply to you.
Improvement Activities
New category.
Most participants: Attest that you completed up to 4 improvement activities for a minimum of 90 days.

Groups with fewer than 15 participants or if you are in a rural or health professional shortage area: Attest that you completed up to 2 activities for a minimum of 90 days.

Participants in certified patient-centered medical homes, comparable specialty practices, or an APM designated as a Medical Home Model: You will automatically earn full credit.

Participants in certain APMs under the APM scoring standard, such as Shared Savings Program Track 1 or OCM: You will automatically receive points based on the requirements of participating in the APM. For all current APMs under the APM scoring standard, this assigned score will be full credit. For all future APMs under the APM scoring standard, the assigned score will be at least half credit.
Replaces Value-Based Modifier.
No data submission required. Calculated from adjudicated claims.

How It Works

An Alternative Payment Model (APM) is a payment approach that gives added incentive payments to provide high-quality and cost-efficient care. APMs can apply to a specific clinical condition, a care episode, or a population.

Advanced APMs

In the Advanced APM track of the Quality Payment Program, you may earn a 5% incentive for achieving threshold levels of payments or patients through Advanced APMs. If you achieve these thresholds, you are excluded from the MIPS reporting requirements and payment adjustment.


If you’re in a specific type of APM called a “MIPS APM” and you are not excluded from MIPS, you may be scored using a special APM scoring standard. The APM scoring standard is designed to account for activities already required by the APM. For example, the APM scoring standard eliminates the need for MIPS clinicians to duplicate submission of Quality and Improvement Activity performance category data and allows them to focus instead on the goals of the APM. Most Advanced APMs are also MIPS APMs so that if an eligible clinician participating in the Advanced APM does not meet the threshold for sufficient payments or patients through an Advanced APM in order to become a Qualifying APM Participant (QP), thereby being excluded from MIPS, the MIPS eligible clinician will be scored under MIPS according to the APM scoring standard. Information for Advanced APMs and MIPS APMs may change each Performance Year (PY).
The above information are sole properties of the CMS displayed for education purpose only. You can visit

www.qpp.cms.gov for more updated information