The folks at Medicare want to hear from you about your experience with the Quality Payment Program (QPP).
I often talk to our Registry clients about their long-term plans and goals for CMS’s Quality Programs… some procrastinate, some plan to hire a person, or people, just for data entry, others plan to upgrade their EHR (or get on to an EHR in the first place) to make reporting an easier task… And lastly, some practices, mostly small or solo practices, are trying to decide if they can make up the difference by seeing more patients to offset the downward adjustment imposed by CMS by not reporting. This last statement, while shocking, is where a true problem lies – if providers are deciding not to participate in the program because it is too burdensome – how will we get a program like QPP off the ground?
Back in August, and MGMA study said 82% of their respondents referred to the Quality Payment Program as “very, or extremely burdensome”. And that Clinicians and small practices don’t feel as though MIPS supports their practices quality priorities. Areas of concern are high implementation costs, and lack of clear program guidance. No big surprise here.
Because the Quality Payment Program is so complicated, it is no wonder that clinicians are feeling this way. The administrative burden put on to practices who have a skeleton staff as it is, is enormous. Doctors just want to care for their patients but are spending more and more time with paperwork.
“The biggest issue here is the burden of reporting provides no immediate reward, but lots of ‘to dos'.”, says Dr. Doug Jorgensen, Patient360’s Founder and CEO. “We have a federal program that proposes to show our worth as providers, but requires us to make sure the data is accurate and submitted in a timely manner while still doing EMR documentation and following the federal billing and coding guidelines along with prior authorization rules from each payer and formularies from each payer. As such, it’s really a burden and seen as just another impediment from allowing us to care for our patients.”
Clinicians feel the stresses of the administrative burden associated with the QPP. However, what practices need is a long-term plan and long-term investment. Maybe that investment is in people/staff/administrators, maybe that investment is in practice IT, but the truth is this… “business as usual” just got a whole lot more difficult.
While MIPS “Hardship Exemptions” have existed under the QPP for ACI category, to date, those exceptions and exemptions do not apply to the Quality Category which accounts for 60% of a clinician or practices’ MIPS score in 2018 and is arguably the most difficult part of the QPP to report.
The good thing is, CMS seems to be listening… They want to hear what the real burdens are and are incentivizing practice administrators to share their insights with credit towards their IA category this year in 2018.
Additionally, CMS would also like to hear from a limited number of currently exempt specialties – those specialties who have not yet had to report MIPS, but will at some point be included in the program (i.e., Physical and occupational therapists, LCSWs, psychologists and other therapists). CMS is inviting clinicians to participate in a study on exactly that. They want to hear about clinical workflows, challenges in reporting Quality measures, and technological infrastructure imposing challenges to clinicians and staff in this ever-increasing age of data and reporting.
To read more about the CMS Study, and to Apply for the study and to receive IA credit for 2018 reporting, Click Here to be directed to the CMS brochure. Application deadline is March 23rd, 2018.
Heather Renzi is the Business Development manager for Patient360, a CMS Qualified Registry and Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). Contact Sales@patient360.com or visit www.patient360.com for more information and to read more about the QPP and MIPS reporting via Registry.