The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced a new funding opportunity for development, improvement and expansion of quality measures for the Quality Payment Program. According to CMS, the program over three years will provide up to $30 million in funding and technical assistance to clinicians, patients and others working on QPP measures. These cooperative agreements will focus on engagement, data collection to reduce burden, consumer-informed decisions, critical measure gaps and quality measure alignment.
While most physicians are still trying to navigate QPP, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the other requirements of MACRA, CMS is beginning to ramp up the implementation of the payment system. Now, physicians need to report on six metrics, which includes one outcome measure from three performance categories: quality, advancing care information and improvement activities. However, beginning in 2019, a fourth category of tying 30 percent of participants’ scores to costs will be added.
There has been disagreement about which quality measures physicians should use, and with over 300 options, the task can be daunting. CMS is hoping more input from stakeholders will lead to better measures that meet program objectives while minimizing administrative workload.
Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation Can Help
The overall goal is to improve patient outcomes and reduce burden by incorporating clinical and patient perspectives in the quality measures development process, but the process has many options and can prove quite daunting. Last year, the Medical Association partnered with the staff at the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF), a nonprofit consulting firm located in Birmingham and contracted by CMS to provide free technical assistance to all Alabama providers. Part of AQAF’s contract with CMS is to provide training to clinicians on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or an Alternative Payment Model (APM).
Technical assistance from the staff at AQAF is always FREE and available immediately by emailing TechAssist@aqaf.com or calling 1-844-205-5540.