• MACRA Basics

    Technical Assistance Programs for the Quality Payment Program (QPP)

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers several technical assistance programs to help you successfully participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Use this guide to help understand which program fits your needs.

    The QPP Help and Support offers free videos, webinars, and online, self-paced courses to help you better understand the QPP.

    Quality Payment Program Service Center

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) encourages all eligible clinicians (ECs) to access the QPP Service Center at (866) 288-8292 or QPP@cms.hhs.gov. The service center assesses the caller’s needs and determines the appropriate technical assistance program. These programs include:

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

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

    Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (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.

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

    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) includes funding for entities to provide free technical assistance to physicians in small practices (15 or fewer clinicians), with a focus on those located in underserved and rural areas. The QPP-SURS program works with practices to assess their needs and offer individualized guidance to help them successfully participate in QPP. Support offered by QPP-SURS includes:

    • Selection of quality measures and activities to report for each performance category under MIPS
    • Reporting for MIPS
    • Engagement in quality improvement
    • Optimization of health information technology
    • Evaluation of options for joining an AAPM

    ECs can find and request assistance from the QPP-SURS serving their region on the QPP website.

    Alternative Payment Model Learning Systems

    The goal of the Alternative Payment Model 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 Advanced APM 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.

    Learn more about APM Learning Systems.