The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced some needed relief to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MIPS is the major quality reporting program in Medicare for physicians.
2021 Performance Period
CMS announced on November 10, 2021 that clinicians will receive an automatic exemption from all four MIPS performance categories (MIPS Quality, Cost, Improvement Activities, and Promoting Interoperability performance categories) if they do not report any data from the 2021 performance period. CMS had previously created a case-by-case, application-based exception policy for 2021.
Under the automatic exemption policy, if you don’t report data, you will be held harmless and will not receive a bonus or penalty in 2023 based on your performance in MIPS in 2021. You or your group still have the option of submitting data in two or more performance categories and receiving a performance score. If you did choose to submit enough data to receive a score, your automatic exemption is overridden.
CMS also announced on April 25, 2022 that the agency was reweighting the Cost performance category from 20% to 0% for the MIPS 2021 performance period. The 20% Cost performance category weight will be redistributed to other performance categories. In most cases, for those emergency physicians and groups that chose to report data, the Quality category will represent 85 percent of the total MIPS score, and the Improvement Activities category will represent the remaining 15 percent.
For more information on submitting a hardship exemption for the 2021 performance period, please go to CMS’ website here.