Technical Assistance Programs to Transition to the Quality Payment Program

MACRA Basics

Technical Assistance Programs to Transition to the Quality Payment Program

Transitioning to QPP with Technical Assistance Programs

To help physicians transition to Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers several technical assistance programs to help physicians successfully participate in one of the two payment tracks under QPP: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs).

CMS has made a commitment that 100% of eligible clinicians (ECs) will have access to technical assistance. CMS is taking an approach that no matter which of the programs you choose, they will connect you to the technical assistance that best fits your needs.

Quality Payment Program Service Center

CMS encourages all ECs to access the QPP Service Center at (866) 288-8292. The service center assesses the caller’s needs and determines the appropriate technical assistance program. These include:

  • Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi)
  • Quality Payment Program Small, Rural and Underserved Support (QPP-SURS)
  • Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO)

Within 24 hours, a technical assistance contractor should make contact with the EC. Find additional information to help prepare for QPP at CMS’ Educational Resources page(qpp.cms.gov).

Transforming Clinical Practice initiative (TCPi)  

TCPi is designed to support more than 140,000 clinician practices through Support and Alignment Networks (SANs) and Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs). PTNs provide free and customized support to prepare practices for success in Medicare’s QPP. Clinicians enrolled with a PTN who have completed both a baseline and follow-up assessment will receive credit for a “high-weighted” activity in the improvement activities performance category under MIPS. Contact the AAFP to connect with PTNs recruiting in your area, and to learn about other available resources.

Learn more about TCPi »

Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs)

QIN-QIOs are designed to bring together Medicare beneficiaries, physicians, and communities in data-driven initiatives that improve patient safety, make communities healthier, provide better coordinated post-hospital care, and enhance clinical quality. QIN-QIOs offer technical assistance, as well as tailored education, best practices, and tools and resources. QIN-QIOs help provide skills for transforming practices, including employing lean methodologies, assisting Medicare physicians with the transition to the QPP, and developing innovative approaches to quality improvement.

Learn more about QIN-QIOs »(www.cms.gov)

Quality Payment Program-Small, Underserved and Rural Support (QPP-SURS)

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) includes funding for entities to provide technical assistance to physicians in small practices (15 or fewer clinicians), with a focus on those located in underserved and rural areas. Through the QPP-SURS, physicians receive guidance and assistance for successful participation in MIPS and transitioning into APMs. While there isn’t currently a website dedicated to the QPP-SURS, ECs can access the QPP-SURS serving their region by calling the QPP Service Center at (866) 288-8292.

Learn more about QPP-SURS »(qpp.cms.gov)

Innovation Center’s Learning System

The goal of the learning system is to facilitate the sharing of information and promising practices. The learning system provides APM participants with specialized information needed to increase success in the AAPM track. For APMs that are not AAPMs, it helps practices to understand the special benefits of MIPS APMs. APM participants are provided information to access technical assistance by their APM.