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Do you understand MIPS? Prove it!



Do you understand MIPS? Prove it! (to yourself, that is).

We all know MACRA took effect at the start of 2017. This law changes how the government pays physicians for Medicare services and establishes two payment tracks for physicians, the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Most independent medical practices will probably choose the MIPS track. As you know, practices are required to report their performance on a variety of metrics or face a financial penalty in the form of lower payments from Medicare, however, practices that report their data have the possibility of earning a financial bonus. We like the sound of that!

Although MIPS can affect a small practice’s income, polls show that most doctors still don’t know as much as they should about it. How much do you know? Read these questions provided by Medical Economics to find out:

What does ‘MIPS’ stand for?
a) Mandated Insurance Payment Structure
b) More Income for Physicians Society
c) Merit-based Incentive Payment System
d) Multiple Indices of Pancreatitis Syndrome

Correct answer: c) Merit-based Incentive Payment System


How many performance categories are included in MIPS during its first year?
a) 3
b) 4
c) 5
d) 6

Correct answer: a) 3


Which of the following is not a MIPS performance category?
a) Advancing care information
b) Improvement activities
c) Quality
d) Patient registry development

Correct answer: d) Patient registry development

Medicare’s “payment adjustments” (financial bonuses and penalties) under MIPS begin in which year?
a) 2018
b) 2019
c) 2020
d) 2021

Correct answer: b) 2019


The maximum payment adjustment, either positive or negative, for data reported in the first year of MIPS is:
a) 4%
b) 5%
c) 6%
d) 7%

Correct answer: b) 5%


The maximum MIPS payment adjustment will increase each year until 2022 when it will be:
a) 7%
b) 8%
c) 9%
d) 10%

Correct answer: c) 9%


The minimum amount of data a practice must submit in 2017 to receive a financial bonus (positive payment adjustment) is:
a) 30 days’ worth
b) 60 days’ worth
c) 90 days’ worth
d) 120 days’ worth

Correct answer: c) 90 days’ worth


Which of the four MIPS performance categories counts for the most in determining payment adjustments (is the most heavily weighted) during the first year?*
a) quality
b) improvement activities
c) advancing care information
d) cost

Correct answer: b) Quality replaces the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS); advancing care information replaces the Medicare EHR Incentive Program / Meaningful Use; and cost replaces the Value-based Modifier.


What percentage of a MIPS score will this reporting category account for?
a) 50%
b) 60%
c) 75%
d) 90%

Correct answer: b) Quality counts for 60% of a physician’s score; advancing care information 25% and improvement activities 15%.


Let AdvancedMD answer your MACRA & MIPS questions and get your practice MACRA-ready. We actually have a dedicated team of MACRA consultants to help. 

Access these many AdvancedMD MACRA/MIPS resources:

What you need to know about MIPS for 2017 web page.
Preparing Your Practice for MACRA eGuide.
Simplifying MACRA with AdvancedMD webinar recording.
MACRA Survival Series: Essentials for the small practice eGuide.

Courtesy of Medical Economics,, June 5, 2017.


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