Making Sense of MACRA: Time to Report 2017 Data


Data for the 2017 performance period of MIPS must be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by March 31, 2018.

Fam Pract Manag. 2018 Jan-Feb;25(1):31-32.

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The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law in April 2015. The legislation established the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which is the umbrella term for the two tracks for Medicare payment: Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs). Most clinicians will initially participate in the MIPS track of QPP.


The first performance period for the QPP ended December 31, 2017. Data for the 2017 performance period of MIPS must be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by March 31, 2018. While data is submitted in 2018, the data must have been collected during the 2017 calendar year (January 1-December 31).

Other factors and deadlines may affect when your data should be compiled and submitted, including:

  • Eligible clinicians (ECs) reporting through a qualified registry, qualified clinical data registry (QCDR), or via their electronic health record (EHR) should verify deadlines with their vendors. Many vendors require clinicians to submit data before the March 31 deadline to allow time to aggregate and submit the data to CMS on behalf of the clinician.

  • ECs reporting via claims must submit their claims by February 28, 2018.

  • ECs wishing to attest through the CMS QPP Portal must do so by March 31, 2018.

To find out if you are subject to MIPS, you can check your MIPS eligibility using the QPP Look-up Tool by entering your National Provider Identifier (NPI) number.


For the 2017 performance period, CMS created “Pick Your Pace” to ease clinicians into the QPP. Clinicians can avoid the negative 4% Medicare Part B payment adjustment by selecting one of the following options for the 2017 performance period:

  • Test – Submit data for one quality measure, OR one improvement activity, OR the required advancing care information (ACI) measures.

  • Partial participation – Submit at least 90 days of data for more than one quality measure, OR more than one improvement activity, OR more than the required ACI measures. Partial participation allows ECs to possibly receive a small positive payment adjustment.

  • Full participation – Submit at least 90 days of data (up to a full year) for all required quality measures, AND all required improvement activities, AND more than the required ACI measures. Full participation allows ECs to possibly receive a moderate positive payment adjustment.

  • AAPM participation – Clinicians in AAPMs can check their qualifying participant (QP) status through the QPP Look-up Tool.

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Making Sense of MACRA: Options for Meeting the 2018 MIPS Requirements

To avoid a negative payment adjustment from Medicare in 2020, practices must achieve a MIPS final score of at least 15 points for the 2018 performance period. Here's how to meet this performance threshold.