Our recommendation: Once you determine your attestation option, the methods differ. Take the time to conduct the analysis. This is an important strategic business decision that could have cost, revenue and scheduling implications.
TIP 3: Select Quality Measures that Best Showcase Your Practice
There are over 200 Quality Measures available for the Quality Category of MIPS. With a wide variety of quality measures from which to choose, you must attest to six (6) total measures, one (1) of which must be an outcome measure. In choosing your measures, select those that best showcase the quality of services you provide. You also have an additional option to attest to specialty measure groups. There are thirty distinct specialty measure groups including one for mental/behavioral health.
When committing to the measures you will collect and report on, keep in mind you can earn, you can earn up to 10% total in bonus point:
Two (2) bonus points for each additional outcome or patient experience measure that you report
One (1) bonus point for each additional high priority measure that you report.
This is good news! Quality Measures are an excellent category where you can earn bonus points. Why? Your eligible clinicians are probably already carrying out many of the workflows required to capture the data for the measures.
Our recommendation: Get credit for what you are probably already doing.
TIP 4: Operationalize Your Clinical Improvement Activities (CIA)
The Improvement Activities Category is a new initiative included in MACRA MIPS that was not part of the previous Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) quality program. This new performance category will reward your eligible clinicians for services they deliver that focus on these key areas:
Engagement of the patient (or their representative)
When you look through the list of 93 Improvement Activities, you should look for activities that reflect some of the processes you already have in place. You should also identify activities you want to add to your practices that will bring true value to your agency and your consumers.
Most participating eligible clinicians will need to attest that they have completed up to four (4) of the improvement activities for a minimum of 90 days. As an example, below are four (4) improvement activities that support integrated care and care coordination practices:
Care coordination agreements that promote improvements in patient tracking across settings
Care transition documentation practice improvements
Care transition standard operational improvements
Implementation of use of specialist reports back to referring clinician or group to close the referral loop.
Our recommendation: Select activities that both reflect your current practices and will expand your clinical improvement program. And if you do not have a formalized improvement program, no problem. You now have an ideal opportunity to start organizing your current efforts into a formal clinical improvement program. Win-win!
TIP 5: Go Beyond the Advancing Care Information (ACI) Category Base Score
If you are a provider who previously participated in the EHR Incentive Program for Meaningful Use (MU), you are already practicing and likely have been attesting to more than twice the number of measures now required for ACI. This is good news! You should definitely plan to attest to more than just the base levels for the ACI category.
The eligible clinician must attest to only four (4) or five (5) measures depending on which version (2014 or 2015) of CEHRT (Certified Electronic Health Record Technology) you are using to meet the base level requirements of ACI. Here is more good news for eligible clinicians:
Earn extra credit for reporting up to nine (9) measures for 90 consecutive days (performance score).
Earn bonus points for reporting public health and clinical data registry measures (bonus score).
Earn bonus points for using a CEHRT to complete the Improvement Activities referenced in Tip 4 above (bonus score).
Our recommendation: At a minimum, participate at the performance level and earn extra points by attesting to more measures than what is required for base level participation.
TIP 6: Enlist the Help Of Tower
Incorporating MIPS protocols into your practice workflow takes knowledge of the regulations and careful planning for changes in practice operations. If you do not have the staff time this extra work will require, trust the experienced MIPS experts at Tower Physician Solutions. We will build a workflow plan for implementing the new measures into your daily operations and identify those which might be performed by staff members rather than physicians.
Our recommendation: Tower Physician Solutions has experienced professionals on staff who can guide your practice through the process. Start preparing for ACI participation as soon as possible so you can take advantage of MIPS opportunities. Contact Tower for a free practice assessment.