Technical Assistance Programs to Transition to the Quality Payment Program

MACRA Basics

Technical Assistance Programs to Transition to the Quality Payment Program

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

The QPP Help and Support(qpp.cms.gov) 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 encourages all eligible clinicians (ECs) to access the QPP Service Center(qpp.cms.gov) 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:

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

Transforming Clinical Practice initiative (TCPI) 

The Transforming Clinical Practice initiative (TCPi) is a four-year (September 2015-2019) technical assistance program designed to help clinicians expand their quality improvement capacity, engage in greater peer-to-peer learning, and utilize health data to determine gaps and target intervention needs.

TCPi participants enrolled in a Practice Transformation Network (PTN) may receive continuing medical education (CME) credit through: a PTN, and American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Family Medicine Certification-Performance improvement activity credit(primeregistry.org) (formerly maintenance of certification), free enrollment in the PRIME Registry(primeregistry.org) for up to three years, and improvement activity points under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program.

Learn more about TCPi.

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(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. ECs can find and request assistance from the QPP-SURS serving their region on the QPP website(qpp.cms.gov).

Learn more about QPP-SURS.

Alternative Payment Model Learning Systems

The goal of the Alternative Payment Model Learning System(qpp.cms.gov) 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(qpp.cms.gov).

The AAFP is here to help you understand which technical assistance program is right for you. For assistance, email the AAFP at tcpi@aafp.org.