It's crunch time for family physicians who need to submit data for the 2017 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to avoid a payment penalty in 2019. The submission deadline for most physician reporting is March 31.
Group reporting via the CMS web interface must be complete by March 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
An article in a recent issue of CMS' MLN (Medicare Learning Network) Connects urges physicians to avoid waiting until the last minute to report data.
"Starting your data entry early gives you time to resolve performance and data issues before the March 31 deadline," says the agency.
Furthermore, explains CMS, "The data submission feature doesn't have a 'save' or 'submit' button. Instead, it automatically updates as you enter data. You'll see your initial scores by performance category, indicating that CMS has received your data. If your files don't upload, you'll get a message noting that issue."
Looking for a more familiar and trusted resource?
Check out a supplement just released in the January/February FPM (formerly Family Practice Management) that walks readers through all the important details and deadlines related to MIPS.
The supplement, titled "Making Sense of MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act): Time to Report 2017 Data," was sponsored by the AAFP as part of its Quality Payment Program outreach efforts.
Authors are careful to remind physicians that even though they are submitting data in 2018, "the data must have been collected during the 2017 calendar year."
FPM also points out that reporting physicians will be assigned a final score based on their performance in four MIPS categories:
Authors break down the reporting requirements for each of these categories.
The threat of a payment penalty looms large. "Failure to report any 2017 data will result in a negative 4 percent payment adjustment for Medicare Part B payments in 2019," stresses FPM.
The AAFP's free-to-members 2017 MIPS Playbook -- with step-by-step instructions to 2017 MIPS reporting -- will serve family physicians well as they tackle this task. Nonmembers can purchase this resource for $199.
Academy members who need additional help moving forward with 2018 MIPS reporting that began on Jan. 1 are encouraged to access the AAFP's 2018 MIPS Playbook for free. Members simply log into their AAFP accounts to download the 52-page PDF.