Robert Furno, M.D., chief medical officer of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Region V, shared three takeaways for clinicians in the MIPS, or Merit-based Incentive Payment System, track of the Quality Payment Program.

Pick your pace. Furno recognizes that a lot of providers are overwhelmed and confused by MIPS. “Don't give up,” he urges. “This first year, it is easy to report a minimal amount of information to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2019 and potentially receive a positive payment.”

Furno is referring to the “Pick Your Pace” MIPS timeline for 2017, which gives providers time to get used to reporting requirements:

Path Result
Don’t participate at all 4 percent negative payment adjustment in 2019
Submit some data Avoid the penalty
Report on 90 days in three categories Potentially earn a payment bonus in 2019
Report a full year of data for 2017

Potentially earn the maximum bonus


Report what you’re already doing well. “Clinicians are already doing a lot of the activities and metrics that are built into MIPS,” Furno says. “They just have to report it to make sure they’re getting credit.” 

Mark Oct. 2 on your calendar. For procrastinators, this is the last day to start collecting data to meet the 90-day reporting threshold for 2017, which puts providers in line for a payment bonus in 2019.

Even providers who are only planning to submit the minimal amount of data should mark Oct. 2 on their calendars. Most MIPS metrics involve collecting data for a sizable number of patients, which may take weeks to months. “I don’t want physicians to think that on Dec. 31 they can take one patient’s hemoglobin A1c, and that will count for MIPS reporting.” 

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