The release of the proposed and final Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) rules published by CMS in 2016 brought about an initial flurry of consternation around the complexity of the new Quality Payment Program, which seeks to award payments to Medicare providers (or eligible clinicians) based on quality of care provided rather than quantity of services. Additionally, the rule serves to synthesize several incentive programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use), and the Value-based Payment Modifier program.
CMS and several health IT organizations have prioritized educating providers and making tools available such as the qpp.cms.gov website to help providers make sense of the program eligibility and requirements. Understandably, providers often look to their EHR vendors for guidance on translating policy to implementation and leveraging existing tools to minimize burdens often associated with new data reporting requirements.
While the new quality payment program may seem daunting, medical practices using the Epic EHR for reporting existing programs such as PQRS and Meaningful Use (MU) should be confident they’re well-positioned to earn maximum points during the 2017 transition year, and thus, have improved chances of positive payment adjustments in 2019 and beyond. Medical practices with Epic's EHR are poised for success in each of the MIPS performance categories that will be included as part of the MIPS final score during the transition year: Quality, Accountable Care Information, and Improvement Activities.