• Medicare offers additional QPP reporting relief

    Medicare is offering additional reporting relief for physicians in the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it will automatically reweight the cost performance category for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in performance year 2020.

    A CMS analysis showed that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly decreased the amount of data available for that category’s scores and the agency does not believe it can reliably calculate them. For those who reported data, the 15% cost performance category weight will be redistributed to the other performance categories. Physicians do not need to take any action to have the category reweighted, and the reweighting applies to all physicians, regardless of whether they received an “Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception” for the 2020 performance year.

    Exception applications open for 2021

    CMS also recently opened applications for the MIPS “Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception” and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception for the 2021 performance year. Applications are due Dec. 31.

    MIPS-eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may apply for the Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception if they are a small practice, have decertified EHR technology, have insufficient internet connectivity, face extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, or lack control over the availability of certified EHR technology.

    MIPS-eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may apply to have all MIPS performance categories reweighted if they experienced an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance that affected their ability to collect and report necessary information for a MIPS performance category (e.g., if you were unable to collect quality data) or impacted their normal process and affected their performance on cost and other administrative claims measures. CMS will allow clinicians, groups, virtual groups, and APM entities to request reweighting due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    Applications can be submitted using the QPP Portal. Additional information is available on the QPP Exceptions webpage. You can also contact the QPP Help Desk (866-288-8292) if you have questions.

    — Erin Solis, Manager, Practice and Payment at the American Academy of Family Physicians

    Posted on May 21, 2021 by Erin Solis

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. Some payers may not agree with the advice given. This is not a substitute for current CPT and ICD-9 manuals and payer policies. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.