Quality Payment Program modified due to COVID-19 outbreak

By Erin Stephens, AuntMinnie.com contributing writer

March 30, 2020 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it is adjusting certain aspects of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in response to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

CMS has extended the deadline for reporting 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data and has relaxed the criteria for avoiding a penalty in 2021 based on submission of 2019 data.

Our recent article, Quality Payment Program Update for 2020, reported that 2019 MIPS performance data was to be submitted by March 31, 2020. That deadline has now been extended to April 30, 2020. Adhering to the submission deadline will afford practices the opportunity to receive increased reimbursement in their Medicare fee schedule for 2021 services.

Practices that have already submitted data may still make changes through April 30 by using the CMS website.

Practices that fail to submit MIPS data for 2019 were to have received a fee schedule reduction of 7% for their noncompliance. Under the revised policy, practices that do not submit data will qualify for an automatic "extreme and uncontrollable circumstances" exception and will have a neutral fee schedule adjustment in 2021. No further action is required for this exception to be applied.

The CMS 2019 QPP Data Submission User Guide has more detailed information, as does the CMS Current Emergencies page.

Erin Stephens serves as the senior client manager, education for Healthcare Administrative Partners.

The comments and observations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of AuntMinnie.com.


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