Preparing for MIPS 2019

Before you celebrate the dawn of a new year, be sure to have your MIPS 2019 game plan in place.

General MIPS Requirements

Check Your Eligibility

Determine if you or your group are required to participate. Find out here.

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Education is a Lifelong Journey

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Earlier this year, we sat down with Maria Davenport, OD, an OfficeMate and Eyefinity EHR user who runs a single-doctor practice in Vicksburg, MI to talk about the value of education. Because Dr. Davenport is always looking for ways to work smarter and not harder, she has attended four Education and Training events in the last three years to learn how to use her Eyefinity products to their fullest potential.

“Success for my practice is to stay lean by doing things more efficiently,” Dr. Davenport explained. “[Eyefinity EHR] makes it so I can focus on doing more, like attesting for Meaningful Use, MIPS, and MACRA. This is the first year I attested for Meaningful Use. It went well and I passed. The icon in the system made it easy to track my numbers daily to see how I was performing against the goal.”

Eyefinity EHR is designed to help ODs easily succeed with Meaningful Use, and that makes it an even bigger priority at our Eyefinity Education Conferences. Vice President of Professional Relations, Masoud Nafey, OD hosts breakout sessions on MACRA and MIPS at Education Conferences in addition to helpful webinars throughout the year. A portion of the Eyefinity website is also dedicated entirely to MIPS, hosting a variety of resources to help doctors succeed.

These are just a few ways you can educate yourself with Eyefinity.  Everyone learns differently, and there are more educational resources available to customers, such as on-site training, online tutorials, and in-product messaging. If you use social media, there are private Facebook groups for each Eyefinity product containing helpful tips and peer-to-peer advice. And, of course, Eyefinity Training Support is available to assist you in your learning journey every step of way.

If you want a chance to connect with industry leaders and learn from professionals like yourself, consider attending the next Education Conference in Boston, MA, June 9-10. In the meantime, catch up on the MIPS webinars available in the MIPS Resource Center.

90-day Meaningful Use Reporting Period for 2016 and 2017

Meaningful_Use_sticknoteEarlier this month, CMS quietly finalized the 90-day reporting period for meaningful use in 2016 and 2017. This means participants have the option of reporting only 90 continuous days of meaningful use. This should come as welcome relief for eligible providers who are in danger of not meeting certain thresholds. The 90-day reporting period gives the provider the ability to report the 90 days in which he or she performed well.

The 90-day reporting period in 2017 should come as no surprise as meaningful use morphs into the Advancing Care Information category in the Quality Payment Program. CMS has given eligible clinicians (ECs) the option to pick your pace. This means ECs can choose minimal reporting, reporting 90 days, or reporting the full year of MIPS in 2017.

CMS press release (look for “Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program”)

 

3 MIPS Participation Options that Will Make You Breathe a Sigh of Relief

MIPS data collection begins January 1, 2017. However, CMS provided some flexibility to help eligible clinicians (ECs) ease their way into the brave new world of MIPS. By choosing one of the following participation options, ECs can avoid a payment penalty in 2019.

Option 1: Submit Something

As long as you report some data after January 1, 2017, you will not be subject to a negative payment adjustment in 2019. This option is intended to allow you to test your software, while getting your practice fully on board MIPS in 2018. If you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, this is a slam dunk.

  • Pros: Very low threshold; avoid a 2019 payment penalty
  • Cons: No financial incentive

Option 2: Partial Participation

If you submit 90 days of 2017 data to Medicare, you may earn a neutral or small positive payment adjustment. Under this option, you would submit quality measure information for part of the year, report how your practice uses technology, and report on your practice improvement activities. If you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, and if you implement a practice improvement initiative, there’s no need to sweat it.

  • Pros: Low threshold; similar to current incentive programs; possible financial incentive
  • Cons:  Small incentive payment

Option 3: Participate for the Full Calendar Year

There are some ECs who are eager to jump right into MIPS. If that’s you, start your reporting period on January 1. Under this option, you would submit quality measure information for the full year, report how your practice uses technology, and report on your practice improvement activities. If you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, you will be able to report MIPS for the entire year.

  • Pros: Similar to current incentive programs; possibility for higher financial incentive
  • Cons: Higher threshold

Learn more about your options and check out our MIPS Resource Center for the latest information.

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Masoud Nafey, OD

4 Reasons You Might be Excluded from MIPS

With MIPS looming on the horizon in 2017, many optometrists are anxious about meeting the program requirements. The first step in determining how to meet MIPS requirements is to determine whether you even have to.

Who’s Required?

According to the final rule, CMS anticipates that 24,252 or 66% of optometric clinicians will be excluded from MIPS in 2017.

Clinicians who fall under one of the following categories are excluded from the first year of MIPS:

  • Clinicians who see 100 or fewer Medicare Part B patients;
  • Clinicians who bill $30,000 or less in Medicare Part B;
  • Clinicians in their first year of Medicare Part B billing; or
  • Clinicians who are participating in an Advanced APM (alternative payment model, more on this later).

Each of these criteria excludes Medicare Parts A, C, and D from eligibility requirements.

It’s important to note that these exclusions are expected change in subsequent MIPS program years.

Next Up: When Should I begin MIPS?

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Masoud Nafey, OD

It’s ALIVVVEE! Here’s What You Need to Know about MIPS.

This is the first in a series of articles about MIPS. Stay tuned to this blog for additional information about MIPS and Eyefinity product updates.

Since CMS released the final rule on October 14, MIPS has been a popular topic on news sites, blogs, and Facebook posts.

So, what do you need to know about MIPS and how does it affect your practice? Read on to get the scoop.

What’s MIPS?

MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Program System) is a Medicare payment program that is intended to incentivize eligible clinicians (ECs) to focus on the quality of care rather than quantity of care.

In a nutshell, MIPS streamlines and combines meaningful use and PQRS. MIPS does not apply to hospitals; it applies to individual clinicians.

Clinicians will be scored based on the following areas in 2017:

Category Explanation Value
Quality Formerly PQRS and CQMs 60%
Advancing Care Information Formerly meaningful use 25%
Clinical Practice Improvement Expanding hours improving outreach, etc. 15%

The lion’s share, 75%, is accomplished using a certified EHR—completing measures and quality reporting currently associated with meaningful use and PQRS. Data collection begins in 2017.

A fourth category, Cost, will be added in 2018. Cost will be based on episode-specific costs as reported on claims.

What’s at stake?

Payment adjustments start at 4% in 2019 and ramp up quickly to 9% in 2022. Since MIPS is required to be revenue neutral, the program applies a penalty to the bottom performing ECs to pay incentives to the top performing. Given that payment adjustment can be up to 9% in 2022, ECs can expect to see an 18-point spread in Medicare payments. That means serious money to some ECs.

Payment Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 and beyond
Max Adjustment 4% 5% 7% 9%

MIPS is designed to make ECs compete in quality performance. Since MIPS takes money from lower performing ECs and pays it to higher performing ECs, there’s a lot of incentive for ECs to bring their A-game.

Keep your eye on this blog for more MIPS information.

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Masoud Nafey, OD