5 Key Updates by CMS for MIPS Performance Year 2018

Holiday times are over. 2018 is here and it brings a flurry of activity with it. It is time for 2017 MIPS data submissions, and start off the second year of MIPS on the right foot. CMS was hard at work churning out multiple updates last two weeks to help us get ready for both. In this post, we focus on the five of the key MIPS updates that CMS recently released.

5 Key Updates by CMS for MIPS Performance Year 2018

1. QPP Portal For 2017 MIPS Submissions

MIPS data submission period for 2017 is now open till March 31, 2018. As we had discussed in a previous article, individuals and group will be able to submit their MIPS data for 2017 via an attestation portal similar to Meaningful Use. The Submission Portal is available now. Eligible clinicians and groups will need to use their EIDM account to submit data. CMS has released the EIDM User Guide that explains EIDM account requirements for providers and vendors submitting on behalf of providers in detail. CMS has also posted a step by step video of the process. You can enter your data manually or through a file upload.

  • You can download the free MyMipsScore App to create the QRDA III files for ACI and Improvement Activities category.

  • You can create the QRDA III file for Quality category directly from your EHR.

  • If you are using MyMipsScore, you can create a single QRDA III file for all categories as shown in the video by clicking the "Create QRDA III Submission File" on the dashboard.

2. List of Qualified Registries and QCDRs Approved for 2018

The 2018 approved list of Qualified Registries and QCDRs is now available in the CMS Resource library. These Qualified Registries and Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) will be able to report data (for measures and/or activities) pertaining to the Quality, Advancing Care Information (ACI), and Improvement Activities (IA) performance categories on behalf of MIPS-eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups for MIPS. 

We are pleased to share with you that MyMipsScore has been approved as a Quality Registry for 2018.

3. 2018 Quality Measures Benchmarks

CMS has released the benchmarks that will be used to calculate MIPS Quality Scores for 2018 performance year. The data submitted to CMS for 2016 PQRS performance year has been utilized for calculating these benchmarks. There are separate benchmarks available for EHRs, Claims, Qualified Registries, and Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs). Medicare Shared Saving Program (MSSP) Benchmarks will be used for CMS Web Interface. However, the 2018 benchmarks are not yet available for CAHPS for MIPS Survey measures.

We had discussed the impact of benchmarks and submission methods for 2017 in a previous blog. In addition to the benchmarks, there have been some significant changes in the scoring methodology for 2018 performance year. MyMipsScore is hosting a free webinar on January 23rd where we will discuss the new scoring methodologies along with many other updates.  

4. Mapping Between ACI Measures & Certified EHRs 

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the EHR requirements for MIPS in 2018. CMS released detailed ACI specifications for every ACI measure and their mapping to EHR certification last week. This will be very helpful for providers as well as EHR vendors. We will be discussing this mapping in detail during our webinar. We are also hosting a separate webinar for EHR vendors for a technical deep dive for these requirements. 

5. QRDA III Implementation Guide for 2018

Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA)III is the supported format for Quality Measures (as well as other categories) reporting through EHRs for 2017 submissions. QRDA III will continue to be the standard document format for reporting for 2018. CMS has released the QRDA III implementation Guide for 2018, which 2014 and 2015 Certified EHRs will need to follow for 2018 Performance Year. We will be discussing these requirements in depth during our technical session for MIPS focused on vendors.  

Understand the Changes - The 2018 Boot Camp Webinar Series

To understand how all the above-mentioned updates impact you, we invite you to attend the 2018 Boot-Camp webinar series. In this 2-part webinar series, we will be addressing the application of the MACRA final rule changes and updates from perspectives – that of EHR vendors, MIPS consultants, healthcare service vendors (e.g. RCM and Billing), and that of healthcare organizations including physician groups and practices. 

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