August is here, which means we’re more than halfway through the 2020 year and if your clinic hasn’t really thought much about MIPS this year, you’re not alone. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that shut down many clinics throughout the nation in March and has continued to present challenges for patient care since that time has taken over much of the focus for providers in clinics both large and small.
If you’re starting to worry about what this all means for your MIPS reporting, there are some important things to know. In late March 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would be granting exceptions for 2019 reporting requirements, which provided clinics an extra month to submit data. While that extra time was valuable, the larger announcement at the time was that CMS was evaluating what would be required for reporting 2020 data.
The announcement also:
- Made Q4 2019 data submission optional
- Eliminated the requirement to submit any data for quality programs January 1 through June 30, 2020 (Q1 and Q2)
- Determined that quality payments for 2019 performance could be calculated on data from January 1 through September 30, 2019 (Q1 through Q3), excluding Q4 data if it was not submitted
The goal is to reduce reporting burdens for clinics and hospital systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, without affecting payments or other incentives for quality-based performance prior to the pandemic.
What to Know for the Remainder of 2020
COVID-19 has continued to impact the healthcare system beyond June, and right now it’s unclear whether CMS will announce further changes to reporting requirements for Q3 and Q4 this year. Now that many clinics can see patients in person again (even if it’s on a more limited basis), it’s important to continue providing care that meets quality standards and metrics for MIPS in the event you need to report it for the end of the year.
To ensure continuity of care for your patients, especially those with high needs:
- Schedule annual wellness visits or annual check-ups with primary care patients
- Use your EHR to find quality gaps for patients and contact them about what they should be doing to maintain health
- Send reminders for things like annual mammograms, vaccines, or other preventive care that patients should have done
- Include instructions on how they can safely get these things taken care of; for example, send information about local pharmacies that can provide drive-through or low-contact vaccines
- Provide referrals as needed for recommended screenings
- Use your patient portal to send frequent reminders about each person’s health needs
You can also take some time right now to plan your security risk assessment, ensuring you have plenty of time to complete it if necessary before the end of the year.
Make MIPS Reporting Easier in the Future
Find out how AdvancedMD can help you track patient information, use your EHR to alert you and your patients about quality gaps and care needs, and easily generate required reports for CMS when the reporting schedule is back to normal.