It's not too late to avoid a MIPS penalty in 2019

There are only six weeks left in 2017, but don’t panic! It’s not too late for allergy practices to avoid a 4% MIPS penalty in 2019. There are two options involving minimal reporting that will enable you to avoid a penalty – but you need to complete one of them by year-end. Follow our step-by-step instructions below and you’ll be in the clear.

Step 1: Find out if you need to participate

Check the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) online tool to see if you must participate in MIPS in 2017. All you need is your National Provider Identifier (NPI) to learn if you’re required to participate. If you’re exempt, you don’t need to do anything else to avoid a penalty.

Step 2: Pick a reporting option

There are two minimal reporting options that let you avoid a penalty – and neither requires an EHR. You only need to do ONE of the options below.

1. Report one quality measure for one patient via claims.

The AMA has created a One Patient, One Measure video and a step-by-step guide that walks you through this in detail. Some quality measures that might make sense for allergy practices include:

  • Preventive Care and Screening: Influenza Immunization (Quality ID 110)
  • Pneumococcal Vaccination Status for Older Adults (Quality ID 111)
  • Preventive Care and Screening: Tobacco Use: Screening and Cessation Intervention (Quality ID 226)

Finally, even though only one measure for one patient is required, we recommend reporting more than one measure and patient as a precaution just in case there are any reporting glitches.

2. Attest to completing an improvement activity over 90 days.  

It’s true that practices are required to perform an improvement activity for at least 90 days in 2017 – and there are less than 90 days left in the year. However, it’s possible that you’re already completing one of these activities without knowing it. If so, all you need to do is attest to completing it at CMS’ website when it becomes available. There are 92 possible improvement activities. Is your practice doing any of the following?

  • Activity IA_BE_13: Regularly assess the patient experience of care through surveys, advisory councils and/or other mechanisms.
    • Do you regularly perform patient satisfaction surveys? If so, you already meet this activity requirement. Practices can administer surveys of their own design for this activity.
  • Activity IA_CC_2: Implementation of improvements that contribute to more timely communication of test results.
    • Do you have protocols in place for the timely communication of test results? If so, you may already meet this activity requirement.
  • Activity IA_BE_4: Engagement of patients through implementation of improvements in patient portal.
    • Does your practice have a patient portal that provides patient education on asthma or allergies? Does it allow bidirectional communication about medication changes? If your answer is “yes”, this activity may work for you.

Another advantage to improvement activities? If you report as a group, only one of your eligible clinicians must perform the activity, and you will all get credit. We strongly suggest you retain supporting documentation in case of an audit.

There is still time to avoid the 4% MIPS penalty in 2019, but don’t delay. Choose one of the options above and get started today!

Advocacy Issue: 
Billing, Coding & Payments
MIPS